I’m a skeptic. I don’t mind admitting it. I also fall for great marketing and more importantly look at the trends of a great marketeer. I say skeptic because with all the will in the world, I can’t take the written word as the truth all the time. Authors tend to elaborate and in the case of a work of fiction, that’s a good thing, but in ‘Success Manuals’ I’m sorry but I can’t help thinking that some people do elaborate on their success and the ‘models’ that go with them. I prefer a visual account, that way I can see it for myself and seeing is believing.
Recently, I’ve been watching a show on TLC called “The Real Deal” but it’s changed name to “The Real Estate Pros”.
If you haven’t seen the show, it’s a reality show centered around Trademark Properties, a South Carolina Real Estate company headed by Richard C. Davis. It’s a fly on the wall documentary which tracks projects and ‘house flipping’ undertaken by Richard and his Team.
Love him or hate him, Richard Davis is an inspirational entrepreneur. He is offered a house to purchase and he makes a snap decision whether he will or won’t take it. When he does take it, he goes in and out like a whirlwind, renovates the house totally and prepares it for immediate sale.
Where any other property developer will go in, look around, employ an architect and prepare the work for three or four months ahead and plans meticulously, Richard and his team but the house, have a look at it and start work immediately. Where it would take 3-4 or more months to complete the job by most other people, these guys do it within the week.
Of course, Richard has made the money to do this and do it quickly. He’s built his reputation with suppliers and his team on the philosophy ‘Just do it’. The job gets done on time because of his determination and experience. Why?
He knows his market.
This is one of the most fundamental parts of a business and certainly lends itself to the success of Richard from Trademark Properties. He is a man that knows who his market is, he knows what his customers want, he knows what they will pay for and he knows what price he can ask for a property that has his stamp of quality.
His customers know him too. The people that buy his properties know that he has an eye for detail, doesn’t cut corners and does what he does professionally and without compromise. Many of the properties he renovates in just 7 days, he sells immediately. Why? Because he knows his market and he knows his team has done a quality job.
Apply this to your business. Your reputation is the key to your ultimate success. It can make you or break you — just like that. Get yourself a name for quality products, outstanding service, fast turnaround and excellent customer service.
The number 1 most important factor in business is NOT a mission statement, it isn’t your product, it isn’t you. It’s your customers, your market. Everything else go hand in hand. You have to make sure you have the product or service in place and make sure it’s 110% before even handing it over to the customer. No cutting corners, just get it done to the best of your ability and present your product or service without compromise.
Your customers should be customers for life and that’s what will keep you in business for years to come, not a mission statement or throwing tons of money at advertising.
The best form of marketing is YOU. You know what your business is about, you know your product intimately, you know your service better than anyone else and you know what you are capable of. Therefore, you need to go out and talk to people and give them the confidence in you and your business to make them a customer.
While you do this, wear your company/logo/website/service name. You buy clothes? Why not embroider your company name or website into your shirt/coat/hat? It’s inexpensive and how many people have looked at you and you’ve thought to yourself ‘Why is this person staring at me?’ Give them something to stare at!
Carry business cards or flyers wherever you go. You never know who you are going to meet. One of the most asked questions when you meet someone for the first time is ‘What do you do?’ Get your answer down to a tee. Three sentences maximum and make sure you use buzz words – Quality, Service (Excellent Level Of..), Focused, etc.
I know, it’s human nature to tell people how well you are doing, or even embellishing the truth a little by over-exaggerating and making people like you a little more because you are successful… don’t! Just give them the facts. Know your selling points and know your business. Tell them in three sentences what your company does.
If someone asks me what I do, I don’t just say.. ‘I sell cars and build websites.’ That tells them nothing! I say – ‘I am an Internet vehicle import/exporter supplying quality, rare and in demand vehicles to my clients Worldwide. I’m also a website designer exclusively for clients in specialist sectors where high customer service levels and quality are paramount, as if that wasn’t enough, I also aid people in business start ups, by offering advice and technical assistance at very low cost.’
It sounds like a mouthful and a lot of information to give, but people ask open questions to get a good answer and converse. People get you to talk about yourself. Normally when I speak to someone they tell me all about their car and where they got it, down to the service they got when they bought it and had it maintained etc. Others tell me the car they are looking for. That’s my way in. Most of my business comes from word of mouth and through talking to people.
I mentioned earlier about carrying business cards. People automatically think that if they give out business cards and flyers that someone is going to call them and pay an exorbitant amount for their product or service. Wrong! When was the last time you were given a business card and called the number on it to buy something?
People give out business cards to make contacts to sell products to. The chances are the only people that have called you from a business card is someone trying to sell to you? Yes? Well, here’s the deal. Your best marketing implements that you should never be without will cost you less than $5.
A pad and a pen. When I talk to people, they ask me what I do and I get a lead from them that they are looking for a car, what’s the first thing I do? I reach for my pad and pen to take their name, number, the details of the car they want, whether they need financing, have a part exchange, what color they want, what extras and what vehicle they drive at present, when they are ready to buy and I find out their budget. How do I know all this? I turn the conversation on them and ask open questions making them tell me everything I need to know to sell them the car they want. I shut up and listen.
Why? Because if I hand them a business card, they are not going to call me. If I take their name and number I can call them and my chances of success raise from a 50% chance of calling to 100% certainty I’m going to do my best to secure an order.
My $5 pen and paper have been so much more productive than my $100 business cards and have made an extremely significant return on my initial $5 investment. I’m still down $100 on my business cards!
Business is not rocket science. You need to tell your market that you exist. Going back to Richard Davis and Trademark Properties, the most recent episode he was opening his new retail unit in Charleston S.C. in which he paid just over $2 million for. He renovated it and made the store look impressive. This store is going to be his launching pad for his new vision – Franchising his company. He and his team spent the day at a fair literally walking and talking to people and telling them the shop was there. It’s simple things that work. Newspaper adverts rely on people seeing them. If you tell them, they are going to hear.
You may think the fact he has a TV show has spring boarded his career and that’s why he’s got success. On the contrary. This man is brilliant. He’s even selling branded merchandise in his Real Estate store. It’s not Versace or Gucci, it just has his logo on it. People buy clothing with his logo on it and inadvertently advertise his company.
Tell me that’s not the mark of a visionary and brilliant marketeer?
Read some related articles:
- Itís Halloween Weekend: Have Fun & Market Your Business Youíve been working hard these past few weeks and now itís time to relax and have some fun. Make sure to get out of the...
- How to Market your Business to College Students Here’s the situation: You’ve been working on an awesome business that is specifically tailored for college students and how they receive their assignments from their...
- Sometimes Youíll Need To Prune Your Customers Ė Keep Your Business Positive Over the weekend, while hanging with some young entrepreneurs, I was engaged in a conversation with someone and all of a sudden he said something...
- Quality Customer Service Rocks! Thereís nothing more I love than a company with great — I mean super — customer service. Itís a great feeling knowing that you can...