By Ashlei Jackson, This Is My Town USA
Many may think these are five radical ideas but they are five changes you can make - professionally and personally. The ideas fit whether you are in business or just promoting yourself in life. While you may not be comfortable trying them all - why not test one of them out. Start enjoying a more productive and profitable year.
1. Stop Branding Your Product: There are several world-class brands that everyone recognizes: McDonald’s, Disney, Microsoft, Apple, etc. Unless you have access to a warehouse full of cash, you won’t be able to brand your product as effectively.
There is something you can do to build a great reputation in your market without breaking your budget—brand yourself! People buy from people, and buyers want to know who you are before they buy. It’s your values, personality, and dedication that will help you sell your product. You can successfully brand yourself with blogs, social media, community involvement, events, and more to share your message.
2. Give Away Your Secrets: You have “secret” ways of running your business. You are an expert in your field. Most business owners horde these trade secrets but doing the opposite can have an incredible impact on your bottom line. Offer a free “How TO” report. Most people would gladly provide their email address for that kind of information, giving you an appreciative prospect who now respects you, trusts you, and will come to you when they need your product or service. You become the trusted expert.
While you shouldn’t lose sight of your ultimate goals, you should focus on what is directly in front of you. What do you need to do today to accomplish your goals? Give yourself manageable (and trackable) goals. Break it down so you know what you have to do in the next 10 minutes to be successful.
4. Don’t Lower your prices: When times get tough, business owners tend to lower prices in an attempt to attract and keep customers. But if a lack of money is keeping your customer from buying, it’s because they’ve decided they can do without your product or service. Lowering your price does not put more money in their pocket. It just gives your other customers – the ones that still want your service or product – a nice break. As John Jantsch, author of Duct Tape Marketing says, “There’s always someone that’s willing to go out of business before you.” So avoid the poor economy panic and stick to your guns.
Focus your energy instead on creating products and/or services that have unquestionable value. If the value is there, your most loyal and even new customers will be willing to pay for it.
5. Realize the customer isn’t always right: We’ve all got them…customers who will never be happy no matter how much you do for them. They complain. They demand refunds. And they eat up all your time. If you’ve got customers like that, it’s time you fired them.
If you’re spending a large chunk of time on a single customer, cut your losses. All of your customers deserve your attention. By firing your bad customers, you can concentrate your efforts on the ones who will make the biggest difference to your bottom line. Your best customers know your value, they pay you for it, and they send their friends your way. Spend more of your time finding those who love what you do and become your advocate.