As a business owner, it can be daunting to go out into the marketplace to try and promote or sell your products against well known national or even global brands.
While a brand is important for many organisations, it is certainly not a barrier to building a successful business for those who currently don’t have it.
People get serious value simply from engaging in a strong relationship built around trust.
Here are five steps that may help you to go out and build great relationships around trust, which will mean you’ll have a much better chance of competing successfully against the bigger brands.
Decision makers talk to those companies and individuals who are most interested in them, and are able to help them overcome their problems.
So build up the courage to go and talk to them.
The reality is many big firms within the same sector are struggling with how they differentiate themselves from their competitors because often their buyers just can’t see the difference.
Again, customers are interested in who can solve their problems, and probably won’t care if you’re from PwC or XyZ, Apple or Orange!
Apologies for mixing my metaphors, but it really does pay to take an interest in what is important to your prospective customer.
Find out what interests them most and where they want their business to go.
If you’re selling stationary it may be tempting to go to the office manager. Likewise if you’re selling accountancy you might start with the finance department.
However, it pays to start at the CEO or MD. After all, if you really want to find out where the business is going and if you can help that business, why not find out directly from the top?
If you’re curious and genuinely want to help other businesses succeed, then be prepared to offer some ideas or contacts that don’t necessarily relate to what it is that you do.
In many ways it is better if it doesn’t. I am amazed at how many times I have helped clients and prospective clients simply by introducing them to a different organisation or service provider who can help them. I may not hear back from these people immediately, but in most cases they do contact me again saying thanks and asking for my help again.
Remember: to have a long term customer or client, you need to earn their trust. This can mean offering value for them that doesn’t see immediate reward for you, but rather an investment in goodwill. The good news is that if you do this, they will buy from you when the time is right.
Of course, to be able to carry this out it is vital to be able to get that very first meeting.
In my next article, I’ll share some simple advice to help you land that all important appointment.