In an era where, more than ever before, entrepreneurs have the ability to reach an infinite audience- far beyond where they reside- too often, people are trying to do too much. They try the shotgun approach, often losing the deal before it’s made. But why?
They’re trying to sell a product or service, and not themselves. They become misguided when it comes to their overall brand.
A telephone banking representative, for example, will call, and unlike their brick and mortar counterparts, who build their businesses off of relationship-based selling (hopefully- I’m being idealistic), they simply push product. Selling the solution, before they’ve even uncovered potential problems or issues. This is the wrong approach, simply put. The customer sees it. They immediately know that they’re being sold to, as the telephone representative rattles off a menu of saleable items.
“… what about an RRSP? No? Well what about a TFSA? No? You have one? Have you heard about our new Mastercard? I didn’t realize you already had one… Have you ever considered the insurance option for your Mastercard?…”
I’m more likely to build a business relationship from a loyal partnership. This, as opposed to buying from the entrepreneur that does nothing other than promote their business, and not a brand or image, a lifestyle or even themselves…. You see- they ARE their own brand. That should be synonymous. When I’m sold on the brand… When I’m loyal to the person…. I’m more willing to go where they go. I’ve bought in completely. If they decide to open a flower shop tomorrow, then I will definitely be one of their first customers. I’ll send referrals their way. And ideally, this partnership will be symbiotic. They’ll support me in any of my present or future endeavors.
We crave genuine people and genuine businesses. We don’t want to be sold to. But we do want to buy. The brands we choose to do business with, we like because we like their story. However, if the story seems to be non-existent, then perhaps it just hasn’t been told (adequately) yet. You may not have started your company in a garage, or from a crowdfunding page, but you have a story to tell. You’re unique.
Get the buy-in personally, and develop that image as your very own brand. Any future businesses you work with, work for, or create- you’ll need to develop that image. If the prospect likes you, and then likes your product or service, price will be less of an issue and they’ll be more likely to buy from you because you will have already sold them on your brand (which they’ll likely become loyal to).
By Mark Pavelich The Mark Consulting & Marketing
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