Make the Most of Your Ultimate Marketing Tool
There is one marketing and sales tool you always have with you: yourself. As a small business owner, you are the face of your business brand to every potential prospect you meet. How well are you using your personal power to promote your business and your brand? Here are three things that can make a big impression.
Your attitude determines your altitude, as the saying goes. People do business with people they like, so all else being equal, the right attitude can give you the winning edge over the competition. Be:
- Positive: be optimistic and look on the bright side of life. No one wants to work with Debbie Downer.
- Polite: whether you’re stuck in traffic or someone cuts in front of you in line at the bank, be polite. You never know who’s watching.
- Open-minded: curiosity opens doors. Always be ready to listen and learn about other people.
- Friendly: take the first step. Make the first move. Everyone responds to being treated with kindness.
- Persistent: don’t expect to make a sale—or even a lasting impression—when first meeting a potential prospect. Be persistent, but not pushy, to build the relationship.
You should not judge a book by its cover—but let’s face it, sometimes we can’t help it. Does your appearance promote the right image to go with your business brand? Here are some basics to strive for.
- Be well groomed: brush your teeth, get regular haircuts, keep your shoes and clothes in good condition. Good grooming shows respect for yourself and others.
- Dress professionally: you don’t need to button up in a suit and tie (unless that’s your style). However, you should look put-together and professional at all times. Running out to do errands? Change your stretched-out sweatpants and stained T-shirt for khakis and a polo shirt and you’ll feel 1,000 times better if you happen to run into a client or customer.
- Remember to smile: a friendly smile makes everyone more inclined to like—and do business with you.
Actions speak louder than words. How do your actions promote a positive view of your business? Do you…
- Reach out to others? Make the first move? Start a conversation with the person standing alone at the mixer? Be proactive—don’t wait for others to come to you.
- Live your brand values? Your brand has a mission and values—do you live by them every day? If your business is all about eco-friendliness, don’t drive around town in a gas guzzler.
- Help people? Help the elderly woman at the grocery store reach the top shelf. Offer to connect two colleagues. Share your phone charger with someone at the airport. Do nice things without expecting something in return.
- Engage with the world? On social media, don’t be a lurker. Answer questions; start and join conversations; engage with your colleagues and customers.
- Prepare for anything? Make like a Boy Scout and be prepared. Have an elevator speech ready you can use to promote your business. Carry plenty of business cards. Bring a portable phone charger.
By paying attention to the three A’s—attitude, appearance and actions—you’ll transform yourself into your most valuable sales and marketing tool.
from – Sba.gov – by Rieva Lesonsky