Reality Versus Imaginary Small Business Marketing….
Okay, I may get some flack for this – but big deal.
After a half hour on the phone with a contractor, I think I have to explain a truth… It’s might just hurt your feelings a bit!
Many tradesmen feel that being really good at their job and doing good work is enough to get ahead. It’s not. It probably worked at one time but you can’t rely on that alone any longer.
Doing a good job and relying on word-of-mouth to attract new business is a glorious idea – but it leads to a lot of unprofitable work. You see, when you take this approach – (and I know this to be true, as I was once guilty, and I’ve spoken to hundreds of business owners in the same boat) – you end up chasing work at a low price, just to stay busy.
If works running out and you’re pricing new business – you’re inclined to keep the prices low – to get a foot in the door. If works scarce, and a customer comes back asking for a lower price, you’re more likely to give a discount.
And if you’re competing with lots of others with the same attitude, it’s a race to the bottom.
So, how do you avoid this situation? There a few things – there’s actually lots, but heres a few small business marketing secrets. One way is to be seen as the expert who specialises in your ‘thing’. A specialist can ask higher prices at the outset. another way is to have a steady flow of enquiries coming your way. This allows you to pick and choose the customers that you want to work with – which allows you to choose the more profitable work.
Another reality is that people don’t always want to buy on price. The common belief is that your customers only want the cheapest, lowest price. But that’s so wrong. They probably do want the best value – but value and price are not the same thing.
Think of this example. If everyone wanted the cheapest kitchen – then they’d all be running to IKEA for a cheap option – but they don’t. No matter how poor the economy was, there wasn’t too many housewives around who would be happy with an ikea kitchen! Would there?
Price is only important in the absence of better information. If you educate your customers, you’ll help them make better choices. And… if you’re the one doing the educating, there’s the opportunity to position yourself as the best option!
It’s unfortunate for the many – that they have this idea that marketing is about manipulating the public or that it’s salesy… It is also fortunate for the few – that the many have this stupid idea. Small business marketing is the smart way to attract more customers, build relationships with them that creates more repeat and referred business – and puts more money in your pocket.
I’ll get back down of my soap box now!