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Ingredients to Smarter Small Business Marketing

There’s one thing that every consumer in the world is seeking. It doesn’t matter if that person is a blue-collar worker or an executive for a Fortune 500 company.

This “thing” is the same for everyone. And if you can help your potential customer find it, you will profit far beyond your competitors and dominate your market.

What could this thing be?

A solution?
A resolution?
An experience?
A feeling?
A benefit?
A low price?
A brand?

Nope. Not even close.

Consumers have other things they could be doing with their time than buying your product or service. They could be expanding their career, spending time with their kids, watching reality TV, volunteering or swimming in their pool.

But most small businesses – probably even yours – waste the time of their would-be customers or clients by unnecessarily lengthening the “seeking process.” If you would only cut through the noise and give them what they’re truly searching for, the sale would be made sooner…and you’d be more likely to get the lion’s share of the business.

So what is this mystical grail-like prize your customers so ardently desire?

A preference, of course.

A simple, clear and compelling buying preference. A reason to choose one over the other. A reason to choose you above your competition – every time.

But it so rarely exists.

To witness this small business marketing crime in action, just spend a few observant minutes in the aisle of your local electronics superstore. You’ll see confused shoppers desperately seeking this preference – and rarely finding it.

Packaging, employees, advertising – all have failed them on their quest for a preference. And everyone loses. The buyer ends up frustrated – and perhaps doesn’t get what they truly want or need – and the seller is shrugging their shoulders wondering why sales are in a slump.

Ultimately you are lumped in the same lame category as your competitors. A sea of sameness. An ocean of mediocrity.

But the good news is you can fight back – with a vengeance!

These are the basic ingredients you’ll need to market smarter and make a bold and clear statement that you ARE NOT the same and begin to clearly compel your target to believe that you are the obvious choice:

1. Do The Opposite: One great way to get more than your fair share of the market is to take Earl Nightingale’s advice, "If you want to be successful, look at what everyone else is doing, and do the opposite."
Most of the people in your industry have similar backgrounds and experiences. But the opportunity for success and the attention of your prospects is endless.

You must become a risk-taker. Status quo thinking and common sense action delivers status quo and common results. If you are seeking more than average results and success you need to do the opposite.
Doing what’s comfortable is safe for you – but boring for your customers. And it fails to deliver any kind of preference. Boring is invisible and invisible means no sale.

2. Give Value First: At the beginning of every buyer/seller relationship there is a set of emotions like fear, distrust, uncertainty and lack of knowledge that exists and stands between you and the sale. Think of this as the Mighty Wall Of Mistrust.

Most marketers try to do a standing jump over the wall, only to miss it by a mile.

It’s foolish to try to jump the wall in a single bound. The smart thing to do is break the wall down from the bottom, brick by brick.

By providing your customers with valuable information that helps them develop a preference, you put yourself on the same side of the table as them. You become a trusted advisor instead of a product-pusher.
This allows you to bulldoze wall and overcome all the emotions that stand in the way of the sale.

3. Create An Irresistible Offer: While all of your competitors are screaming price or quality, service or selection, you must create a truly compelling, irresistible offer.

Analyze your offering and find out what you do that your competitors don’t do (or don’t talk about) that delivers a high return on investment for your customers.

Focus on the value-added services your product or service provides. Do you offer a unique warranty or satisfaction guarantee? Do you include a maintenance package with your product? Do you give free car washes to your customers on Thursdays?

This is not about pulling silly marketing stunts like pink gorillas on your roof or talking dogs in your commercials. This is about creating something truly unique and valuable that your customers can latch on to and understand and tell others about then tying that something directly into the overwhelming value you bring to the marketplace.