Sunday, October 27, 2013

Small business success tactics: #1 mistake to avoid

As a small business owner, it's very easy to be overwhelmed with how to approach building your business. How do you reach more people? How can you attract more customers? When will your efforts result in revenues?

Want to know the #1 mistake to avoid?
Don't build your strategy around selling.
Focus on BUILDING RELATIONSHIPS. 


Whether you are building your business online or offline (although now, most people recognize the power and importance of integrating all activities to achieve a common goal) the ONE key to remember is the importance of building relationships, not selling your business. This should be the focus of EVERY touchpoint you have with your customers and target market.


It's so easy to overlook but the importance cannot be overstated: building your business means building relationships. That is PRIORITY #1.



HERE ARE 3 TOP TIPS FOR BUILDING RELATIONSHIPS

1. Solutions and answers go farther than any sales pitch you can throw!

Because customers are looking for solutions. They are looking for value. They are looking for ways to improve their life in some aspect. BE THE ANSWER!

Showing how your business can provide SOLUTIONS to all of the problems and ANSWERS to their questions provides so much more value than a marketing spiel. .By treating each potential customer and existing customers as REAL people, you are building those relationships, creating devoted fans and people loyal to your brand. They are your best assets towards long-term, sustained growth.

2. Use EVERY touchpoint to your advantage.

These are simply every point of contact with your business that a person could potentially have. From Facebook and Twitter, emails, in-store visits with customers - all of these represent opportunities to engage, interact and build relationships. 

3. Keep the dialogue authentic. BE REAL.

By remembering that behind every interaction is a REAL person, you can ensure that HOW you are interacting is authentic. Think of how you would like to be spoken to. Everyone wants to feel valued and that they are more than an number, statistic or peg in the revenue ladder.

Honestly, I think taking this approach simplifies things. It certainly has for me. Focusing on customers by engaging with them in authentic ways, to help them find solutions to their problems is not only satisfying for them, it is much more fulfilling for you too. It goes a long way to building a strong following and foundation of loyal users for the long haul - an asset you cannot build overnight when the going gets tough.

Summary: Putting in the time consistently contributes to the long-term sustainability of your business.

Best of luck,

Nancy

P.S. What is the best way you have found to engage with your customers? Special offers? Coupon codes? Incentive buys? Share your stories.