pull and stay

Been reading a book by a fellow Canadian, Unmarketing by Scott Stratten. I like to read books of people I follow on twitter and so I picked it up.

And its got some great practical gems that any business could apply today. Like you need to steal some of this, tweak and apply it today. It has some over tones with permission marketing by Seth Godin, in that spam and advertising isn’t so effective anymore, nor has it been for awhile. That’s a no brainer.

So what really peaked my interest is what you can do with people already interested in your product.

Well how about talking to them?  I don’t know why its so hard for people to just talk to another as a person, instead of selling.  Another way to put it is be informative, don’t say “how can I help you? “. That is the lamest thing you could ask someone.  I  slammed the book at this point when he mentioned this. I hate that too.  One killer example he cites are the framing companies he visits.

He mentions that when someone enters your store they’re never just browsing or killing time. Scott calls this the biggest lie in the retail world and I have to agree. They’re curious. Some are looking for discount stuff, some aren’t sure what requirements they need to buy something and worse they are then made to feel dumb for not knowing! Not a good feeling to have when leaving your store. So you cater to them individually. For example, have a separate email list for those looking for the discounts – make them feel special.  Give them examples of what size, requirements could work. Educate them so they feel smarter being at your store.  Sounds so obvious, yet tell me how often does this happen?

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An example that will further illustrate this point is a recent visit to a car dealership. I’ve been driving the same car for 10 years, so I decided to do some test drives to see what I like. Unfortunately, zipcar isn’t in Calgary.

When I arrived, I was greeted by a young receptionist behind a desk. I told her my interest in driving the Cooper. She immediately picks up the phone and this message blares out this massive speaker system.  The entire showroom now knows that I need a car…how thoughtful. The sales people are only 20 steps away, but that would require her to move, which would interrupt the movie playing on her laptop. I waited for a half hour until finally I’m informed it would be another twenty minutes. I walked out.

Now imagine if she gave me a tour while I waited. Ask what my hobbies are, talk to me like a person not a walking bank account. She might realize I love music. She might then show me how awesome the stereo is in a certain car. Imagine a week later she sends me some tickets to a Strokes show.  I would be floored! I  would strongly consider only buying from that dealership, and possibly marrying her. Wouldn’t you?

See also : Why You Should Care

thank you is underrated

One of the great things about small business is the way it makes  us feel connected to our customers. I sometimes think small companies don’t take full advantage of that!

So next time you shoot an email or letter to your client list, why not just say thank you? No sales, upgrade, renewal pitch – just a genuine, no strings thank you.

Try including your phone number as well –  to show you really care. Encourage them to talk to you.  I really feel its that simple since most companies hide there phone number from you.  And what would happen? You would make them happy!

By the way I have recently come across one of the most amazing sites on the internet devoted to thank you, its called lettersofnote.com. The site is devoted to gathering famous letters, memos, etc  by the likes of Gandhi, Conan O’Brien and even Barack Obama. It’s pretty awesome to see how these people write! Obama’s letter to Yann Martel is really nice.  Also check out this letter written in 1964 by the product marketing manager of Campbell’s sent to Andy Warhol, who had just displayed his now world famous Campbell’s soup cans.