- Business and Employment»
- Small Businesses & Entrepreneurs
The Secret to Marketing Small Businesses
Many people think that marketing small businesses requires a clever, glitzy advertising campaign, or perhaps a big investment in sales and marketing materials. What if I told you that the real secret to promoting your small business lies not in some catchy slogan or fancy jingle but rather in the power of quality products and services?
Marketing and sales are often lumped into the same category by small business owners; the "things I do when I have a free moment" category. Why is this? If you need to sell more, why aren't you starting your workday off with sales and marketing instead of relegating it to the back burner?
The answer lies in most people's conception - or misconception - of what constitutes sales and marketing. Many people have a mental image of a salesman in a plaid sports coat and bow tie hawking unnecessary gadgets or a lemon of a used car when they think "sales." When they think "marketing", they imagine late-night television infomercials, telemarketers, and many annoyances that disrupt their relaxation and entertainment.
Now, if that's your mental image of sales and marketing, it's no wonder you're putting it off. Who would want to be the guy in the plaid blazer or the person standing between you and your nightly sports or movies? Not me!
Let's switch around the nomenclature a bit and focus instead on the true meaning of sales and marketing: education and awareness.
True salesmen are educators and communicators. Their job is to educate and communicate the features, benefits and values of their products and services to customers.
Marketers, on the other hand, are the awareness generators. Their job is to help customers know that the product and services exist. Without marketing, people wouldn't know that what they need is right around the corner or a click away. Marketing is raising awareness and, if you are quite good at it, raising enthusiasm for a product or service.
Once you shift your focus from the dreaded sales and marketing words to the more palatable education and awareness thoughts, you'll see why I started off by stating that the power to do both is within your product - not within a big budget or splashy advertising campaign.
You see, when products are created to solve a need that a specific group of people have, raising awareness and educating consumers about the products becomes a lot easiser. People naturally want something that solves their problems or fills a need. They want to lose weight, feel great, get to work faster, work less, sleep better, have a better quality of life, smell nicer, make more money and so on.
Once they know about your product through awareness, and you've educated them on exactly how the product or service fills their wants and needs...sold. It's the only word they'll want to say.
And what happens once they say "yes" and buy the product? If you've focused your time and efforts on building a quality product or service, chances are good that the happy customer will tell other customers...who will in turn start looking for information that, through your consistent awareness and education efforts, will be available when he or she needs it. And that cycle repeats consistently until you have a product that sells well.
And you didn't even have to dust off your plaid sports jacket to get it done.
Good sales and marketing truly begins with great products that meet and exceed customers wants and needs. Through education and awareness, quality products often 'sell themselves'. But in truth, the marketing and sales cycle begins with product creation. Focus on building a solid foundation in good quality products and services and you've got your sales and marketing off to a great start.