Remember, it’s easier to keep clients than find new ones

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Finding and securing new customers takes a tremendous amount of time and energy. When looking for new business, remember to take good care of the business you currently have (and have already invested the time and energy to obtain). You know these customers and they know you — and if you are doing your job right, they also like you and what you deliver.

NurtureWe are sharing an excerpt from a great blog post made by Brad Smith, CEO at BARQAR & Director of SEO & Social Media Marketing at Haley Marketing on LinkedIn. Brad’s 10 tips for keeping customers offer really great advice! To read Brad’s full blog post click here >>>10 Secrets to Keeping Customers

  1. Deepen relationships 
    Nurture your customers; focus on building emotional bonds. Make relationships personal, so customers have a hard time letting go.
  2. Broaden relationships 
    Network within your client’s company; limit your dependence on single points of contact.
  3. Outrageous service 
    Blow customers away with your attention to detail. Truly exceed expectations.
  4. Consistency 
    Demand a high level of performance in all aspects of your service. Develop procedures to ensure it’s consistently delivered. Turn every process into a checklist and inspect regularly.
  5. Limit staff turnover 
    People like to deal with the same people; turnover (especially in your service department) makes clients nervous and often leads to attrition.
  6. Customer intelligence 
    Know more about your customers business than they do (be a consultant not just a supplier). Anticipate their needs, and help them realize their objectives.
  7. Your corporate culture 
    Having the right attitude throughout your organization is critical. Reward excellent service and great attitudes. Quickly address and resolve problems.
  8. Flexibility
    Empower front-line personnel so they can quickly accommodate customer requirements. But, don’t abandon them! Give them lots of training and coaching.
  9. Reactivity
    How quickly can you react to customer needs and opportunities? Practice your reaction skills through training exercises-develop scenarios and plan your reactions.
  10. Combat indifference
    According to a recent study, the biggest cause of customer defection is indifference-when customers don’t think you care. Make sure you never create this perception by going to great lengths to constantly remind customers just how important they are to you.
  11. Mistake recovery programs
    Mistakes will happen. How you deal with them determines if you keep or lose clients. Create a process to handle problems quickly and efficiently. Go beyond what the customer was expecting (give them the second quart of eggnog!).
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My Top Five Proofreading Edits

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Cheryl Sucharski, guest blogger

ProoreadersProofreading is one of my favorite tasks. I’m not sure why I love it. Perhaps because it feels like finding Waldo, I don’t know. But I do a lot of it. I have found that no matter the client, I seem to see the same five errors more than any others.

  1. Incorrect name spelling – Spelling a name wrong is a big, bad error. Always look up the proper spelling of names. Company names can be especially tricky; sometimes they have capital letters in the middle, they may be two words joined with or without a space or hyphen, and they may be all lowercase or a combination of upper and lowercase. Never, ever assume you have it correct (or someone has given it to you correctly) and remember — spell check won’t save you on this.
  2. Capitalization – There are basic rules for capitalization and if you follow them, you’ll do just fine (generally, proper nouns and the first word in a sentence). I see a lot of overcapitalization and the incorrect capitalization of job titles (more on this in a minute). Capitalizing words won’t automatically give them more power or emphasis. If you need to add emphasis, you can use italics or underlining — and that should be done sparingly. Stick to the rules. Job titles should be capitalized when they are used as a form of address and precede a name, but not when they follow a name or when they appear on their own in a sentence.
  3. Punctuation with quotation marks – The rule here is simple, place commas and periods inside the quotation mark and place colons and semicolons on the outside.
  4. Number representation – When using numbers, spell out numbers one through nine and use digits for anything higher.
  5. Using two spaces in between sentences – Double spacing in between sentences goes back to the days of using typewriters, when every character occupied the same amount of space and that extra separation was needed. Simply said, it’s outdated. And if you use two spaces in between sentences in certain justifications, you may end up with an errant space at the beginning of a line.

There are always exceptions, but if you follow the basic rules, most people won’t notice those rare exceptions. And it only takes a moment to look up the rule if you aren’t sure (and you’ll benefit by learning something new in the process). And another tip — it’s difficult to proofread your own work. Even the best of us will miss something (the mind does tend to skim) so if you have a friend who can give the piece a quick once over, it’s worth it.

Cheryl Sucharski provides professional marketing services and project assistance to Why Not Marketing and other agencies and organizations.

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What’s your thing?

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Cheryl Sucharski, guest blogger

We often find that it’s difficult for businesses to determine what their ‘thing’ is. We always ask — what makes you unique? What do you want people to know you for? The answers to these questions are critical for branding.

Sock ManNow, if you haven’t known Marc Adler for long, you might think he is known for a few things, his quirky socks for one. If you have known him for a while, you might say it’s his ties — he must own hundreds of them. But they aren’t his brand, they are just his style — there to express a little of his creative side.

Marc Adler is known for his customer service — hands down. And as far as Why Not Marketing is concerned, he is the brand. Knowing and developing a solid relationship with each client and making use of a well-developed network, are the keys to his modus operandi for customer service.

Relationships. Why Not Marketing clients are visited on a regular basis. We make it a point to know our clients and their businesses inside and out. The most direct route to this knowledge is through listening and talking to clients regularly — and we prefer to do this in person, face-to-face. The more important word here, is listening. Through astute listening, we learn about clients, and that helps us determine what each client wants or needs. And this regular contact, coupled with the developed knowledge and understanding, helps us build and strengthen client relationships.

Networks. Building a network doesn’t happen overnight, it takes years. Every person you connect with can become part of your network. You just need to take the time to listen (there’s that word again) and learn about them, and then take it just one step further. Think about how you can connect that person to someone else. Networking isn’t just about knowing people; it’s also about connecting them to someone else, who can provide value. Every client becomes part of the Why Not Marketing network, which means they can be connected with other businesses that may be in need of their products and services. Networking is key; it’s about people connecting with people, and it’s part of Why Not Marketing’s client services.

Companies aren’t the only ones in need of branding or rebranding; that also extends to people. Everyone should create his or her own brand. Why are you special? What do you want people to know you for? The answers to those questions aren’t always easy to find. However, they are important. So, what’s your thing?

Cheryl Sucharski provides professional marketing services and project assistance to Why Not Marketing and other agencies and organizations. 

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9 Reasons Networking is Important

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Of course, a Network doesn’t just happen. To build a network successfully you need to work on it consistently. In fact, you need to broaden your knowledge, as well, so you can more successfully build relationships with all types of people.

1. Your network can guide you when you need guidance.

2. Your network will be a source of information for things you don’t know much about.

3. Your network can open doors for you.

4. Your network can share coffee, a meal or a golf game with you.

5. Your network will introduce you to other people (who might become part of your network).

6. Your network will pick you up when you fall down.

7. Your network might want to buy products or services from you.

8. Your network will come to you when they need help, or information, or want to meet someone whom you know.

9. Your network needs you as much, if not more than you need them.

“The more you know, the more people you can talk to. The more people you talk to, the more doors that will open. The more doors that open for you, the more opportunities you will have for success.”      -Marc

 

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9 Interview Techniques That Will Make You Stand Out

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bad-interviewInterviews are a tricky beast. Whether you are fresh out of school or a senior exec, there are sure to be some butterflies sneaking into the pit of your stomach. Calm nerves stem from proper preparation – and these foolproof tricks will not only make you stand out, but they will help your mind focus on the task at hand. A recipe for success.

1.  When you shake the interviewer’s hand also look ‘em in the eye.

2.  When you look ‘em in the eye tell them thank you for giving you this opportunity.

3.  When they ask you about why they should hire you don’t say you are a hard worker (as they wouldn’t hire you if you said you weren’t a hard worker) prove you are a hard worker.

4.  Make sure you have a series of meaningful questions when they ask you if you have any questions.

5.  Know how to tell your story in just a few sentences.

6.  Understand something or somethings that make you stand out from the competition and, when given the chance, tell that story with enthusiasm and passion.

7.  When you’re all done look ‘em in the eye, shake their his/her hand, and thank them for taking the time to interview you.

8.  Make sure you get the interviewer’s business card.
9.  Compose a handwritten note and send it out within 24 hours (if not a lot faster).
Do your due diligence, be yourself and remember these 9 Techniques That Will Make You Stand Out… and don’t forget to smile!
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9 Great Networking Tips

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Networking1-300x212Business is about relationships – getting the job, the promotion or the next big sale may all boil down to “who you know.” In our age of digital media, the value of networking has dwindled, but the power of networking has never been stronger. It’s the oldest trick in the book – and it still works.

 

1. Be INTERESTED

Don’t just talk about yourself. Listen to the other person and ask insightful questions.

 

2. Be INTERESTING

Build your knowledge base so you can talk to people on virtually any topic. If you don’t know anything about a topic, be prepared to ask questions.

 

3. Be FOCUSED

There is nothing worse than asking a question with your mouth while your eyes are focused on something else across the room.

 

4. ASK

for a business card (and bring yours) – You should make sure you have current information on the people with whom you network. You now have the opportunity to write them a personal, handwritten (yes, handwritten) note thanking them for chatting with you. 

 

5. Be AWARE

Don’t dominate a person’s time. Thank them for spending time talking and suggest the possibility to meet again, at which time you’d like to learn more about what they do.

 

6. PRACTICE

handshakes – Before you go make sure you focus on the right type of handshake for the situation…firm and not too long.

 

7. REMEMBER

their name, if nothing else – People really appreciate it when you can recall their name at the end of a conversation, as well as within the conversation.

 

8. FOLLOW UP

If you want to build a strong network, displaying effort goes a long way.

 

9. GIVE

and you will get something in return – Everyone you meet gives value to your life, so be thankful that you met someone new.  If you and that person gain something else from the interaction, then you are even better off.

 

Utilizing these tips will leave a positive impression.  Remember, not every connection you make will yield measurable results … but building a network of strong relationships and positive emotional ties are just as important for your career and your personal life.

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My Dog the Marketer

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In control and loving it!

Until now I’ve just focused on people as marketers, even when they are reluctant to accept that role.  But, during a run of errands with my wife, and my dog, Murphy, I realized that even he has got this Marketing thing down like an expert.

At the outset, I looked at dog training as an exercise to make sure our efforts conveyed particular messages aimed at a target market (him) just like any other marketing campaign.  It was not long thereafter that I realized he was actually training us.

For instance, he wants to go out so he rings a bell and/or stands at the door staring at us.  Or, he wants water so he drags his dish around noisily until one of us fills it up.  Something, or more likely someone comes near (whom he does not recognize) and he growls or barks (which has the effect of delivering two different messages, each aimed at its own target market).  The growl is telling the ‘intruder’ to get lost, the bark is to alert us to some possible danger.  When he wants to play he’ll bring a ball and drop it in a lap.  In all of these cases Murphy did not have to read a book to figure it out.

Of course Murphy has never taken a marketing course, certainly does not have a textbook to follow, and is limited in his budget.  But none of these shortcomings have served to stop him from accomplishing his goals.  In fact, he thrives on his ability to use whatever is most readily available to improve his chances for success.

If Murphy can determine the best tools to communicate messages to his target market why can’t people do the same?  We, of course, think too much.  He tries a method, gets a response, and then keeps doing it.  People want to focus on exhaustive research rather than rely on their instincts to get things done.  There is no book that has the answers.  In fact, Marketing is an art (not a science).  Books, in many cases, are just a repository of jargon that is meant to convey that positive results will occur if you take specific actions in a language that only the author understands. Murphy has reinforced the point that marketing is an art, not a science, and that every situation requires unique thoughts and actions based upon the conditions present at that moment.  Books can’t prepare you for anything close to what you will face in the marketing world.  Instead, experience is the best teacher.

And, according to Murphy’s ‘Law’ of Marketing, the book is meant to be chewed on and spit out.

Best regards,

Why Not Marc(keting)

 

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Making an Impression

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How’s that handshake?  Firm or limp? Do you look the person you’re greeting in the eyes, or do you gaze off to those in the periphery?  When do you hand them your business card (if you remember to even have some with you)? And, does the business card create a lasting impression on the recipient?

EVERYTHING YOU DO

How ready are you for the next moment in your professional life?  If Marketing is anything you do to help sell a product or service (thanks Jay David Levinson — Guerrilla Marketing — for this easy to remember and completely understandable definition), shouldn’t you always be prepared for the initial impact of a meeting?

And, is your knowledge of topics so limited that you can’t hold a conversation on anything other than what you know nor can you think of questions to ask about the things you don’t know?

WHAT YOU DON’T KNOW CAN HURT YOU

In my classes (either Marketing or Advertising focused) I always start out the semester by making the students ‘suffer’ through an extended attendance taking session.  I tend to ask where they are from, maybe why they decided to take the class, and what they are hoping to do.  Early on in the process I will invariably get the response “I’m from The City” or “I’m from Rochester” or some generic response based upon the assumption that I would never know what community they are really from and I wouldn’t be interested even if they told me. And, some students get up and leave because they don’t think that this exercise has anything to do with Marketing.

My point is more about marketing them as products – that’s not meant to de-personalize them, but rather to get each individual to understand what it is going to take to be more successful as they go through the stages of their lives.  You need to make impressions (hopefully positive) rather than be invisible.  This is relevant for more than just students. I’ve spoken to plenty of ‘established’ professionals who have no clue how to effectively market themselves.

BE DIFFERENT

You need to differentiate yourself — rather than be one of the crowd.  You need to be PRESENT — which means show up, stand up, and stand out in every situation.  Ask questions, give real answers, show enthusiasm and be interesting.  When someone asks where you’re from don’t say Rochester if you’re from Webster.  Don’t say The City when you’re from New City (not New York City). Don’t let your ‘friends’ hold you back from being more than they are.  Shake hands, look people in the eye, and demonstrate a passion for learning more.

If I’m asking a question there is a reason for it.  Don’t assume I don’t know what you are talking about.  And, even if I don’t know, I’m more likely to ask for details because I like to learn.  The question is though…do you?

 

Why Not Marc(keting)

 

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Business Cards and Thank You Cards

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If you are in business for yourself there are at least 2 cards you must have — business and thank you.

WHY?

How many times have you been introduced to someone who might be a prospective client or might be able to connect you to one and you don’t have any business cards to hand them when they look to exchange information?  It can be both embarrassing for you and leave a negative impression with the contact when you are not prepared to promote yourself and your business.  And, when someone is willing to help you, or just get together at your request how impersonal is the obligatory thank you email?!  A handwritten note on stationary (hopefully with the company logo) always inspires a more positive reaction and leaves a lasting impression.

Good, Better, Best

Of course, the excuses range from ‘I have lousy handwriting’ to ‘email is so much faster’, but neither of these stand up to the effort test.  This test measures how hard you are willing to work to prove that you truly believe in personal service (especially since you always blather on how your service is better than the competition).  Does this mean that you only reach far enough to be better, or you always strive to be the best?  And, if you strive to be the best does that mean the best in your industry, or the BEST amongst all the best?

The Bottom Line

The little things like always having a business card in your pocket, or sending handwritten thank you notes after a meeting demonstrate that you are committing to those efforts that can set you apart.  Being good enough is not being great.  Wanting to be the best will be the motivation that helps you get there.  And that’s a message you can use in all your communications — if you live it everyday!

Best regards,

Why Not Marc(keting)

 

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Branding — Is it an overused word?

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One of the most overused words and, for many, misunderstood ones is Brand. Educators and Agency folks work hard to coin phrases which incorporate the word Brand — see thefinancialbrand.com/glossary-of-branding-terminology — in an effort to distinguish all the ways to explain brands to the rest of the world.  For the general businessperson this only makes things more confusing.

Simplify

What do people think of when they see the McDonald’s arches? Or hear the name Tom Cruise? Or see the color robin eggshell blue?  Or why they choose Wegmans over Tops?  Ask yourself these questions and what comes to mind?  It is with these thoughts in mind that you have the core concept of what Brand means.  What comes to mind when you see a logo, hear someone’s name, or see a particular color?  Are your thoughts the same as those of others? Of the majority of others? Of what is intended by the company or individual?  Companies and celebrities (they are companies, too, in reality) try to deliver or live a certain way so as to establish an image that they want others to think about when hearing (or seeing) their name. Delivering on that Brand (brand promise) is critical to them.

Personal Brand

You don’t have to be a celebrity or a big company to be concerned about your Brand.  What do others think of you when they hear your name? (Expert?, Thief?, Reliable?, Fun?)  What distinguishes you from others, in your mind?  Do you do enough to make people know enough about you so that they think what you want them to think? (Do you live your brand attributes?)  Is it possible to deliver a consistent message all the time? (probably not!)

I ask students in my classes about their attributes and many of them invariably say hard worker.  I suggest they live that way, if they want to be thought of that way.  (Of course, many of those same individuals show up late for class, spend most of the time texting, never ask questions, and run out the moment class is over.)

Marketers ‘r Us

Bottom line is that we are all marketers, whether we want to be, or not. Consider how you want people to remember you while you are alive, as well as dead (somebody is going to deliver that eulogy).  It is going to help in you in the short and long run.

 

Happy Branding!

Why Not Marc(keting)

 

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