1. Learn from the art of self-defence – personalise your message
You don’t have to be a self-defence guru to work out that a very sensible starting point when confronted with aggression is to call for help.
Gurus of this kind will tell you that you’re far more likely to get assistance from passers-by if you personalise your plea.
Our newspapers and television channels are full of stories where poor unfortunates have been set upon by bad guys as calls for support went unheeded.
To get someone’s attention you need to get personal.
“Hey, you in the green shirt with the brown briefcase. Help me!”
No-one is going to walk on by when they’ve in effect been appointed to take action.
This self-defence lesson illustrates precisely what needs to happen when targeting small businesses and fellow soloists. To have your message heard it must be personal and it must be highly relevant.
It’s far better to get the meaningful attention of one person than to have a generalised message ignored by thousands.
2. Flex your opinion muscles
In this information age, there’s no place for mediocrity and blandness. When targeting small businesses, if you’re going to stand out it follows you need to stand for something and this is where opinions come in.
The reason blogs have rocketed onto the world communication stage is that they allow individuals to speak passionately and openly, and this action attracts audiences.
This is something the shock-jocks of talk back radio have known for years.
Small business owners are extremely time-poor and simply will not waste their time with anyone who doesn’t understand their issues and challenges.
As a small business yourself you are uniquely placed to empathise and acknowledge, and to use your own experiences to attract business.
Get vocal. Consider starting a blog. Participate in local networking events. Become a voice for small business and you’ll have queues forming at your door.
Stay quiet and you’ll…er, stay quiet.
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3. Speak in outcomes and use clear language
One of the most common blunders in marketing is the bad habit of getting lost in jargon.
If your products or services will benefit someone who is struggling in whatever form, make sure you talk to them in language they’ll understand.
Let’s look at some examples:
- If you’re in the tech field and an outcome of your work is ultimately getting home earlier and spending less time in front of a monitor, say it.
- If you’re involved in health and fitness and help people to live longer, shout it out.
I guarantee this will yield more interest that banging on about processor speeds or vitamin supplements!
By the same token use language that’s really simple and straightforward. No-one likes to feel like a dummy and a new prospect is less likely to ask you to explain than a customer who knows you.
A good test can be to trial your sales language on a young child – I reckon 8 to 10 years is ideal. If your young guinea pig fully understands the benefits or outcomes of what you’re selling, then things are looking good!
4. Be consistent
Finally, if you’re serious about targeting small businesses and building and maintaining a foothold in this market, be consistent.
Don’t start marketing or sales campaigns you can’t maintain. With so many vendors vying for their attention, small businesses have become suspicious of the ‘here today, gone tomorrow’ approach.
Show that you listen. Demonstrate understanding and you’ll stand the best chance of gaining some fine, loyal customers.