Up-Close Marketing

Monday October 13, 2008,

4 min Read

For an entrepreneur, situations that give you the opportunity to impress people in-person with your products and services are many and varied. They can be planned to follow your advertising, or they might just come out of the blue. As long as you’ve worked at your marketing, it’s easier when you have some notice, but you need to be prepared and ready even in the most unexpected circumstances.

Here are four aspects to help with your personal communication.

1. Be word perfect about everything you offer. Know as much as you can about the technical details. Also, work out all the sales messages about them. What benefits they will bring to the buyer? Will they make things easier, safer, quicker, cheaper; or will they help to achieve something?

2. When you realize you will have an opportunity to talk to someone, do some homework on them. What do you know about them, or what can you find out? What do they need from you and why?

There are plenty of ways to define types of people and the kind of behavior they will respond to. One way is to categorize people in three ways and define these by a color.

If your prospect is a red, he, or she, is a flamboyant type who will cut to the quick and expect a slick, fast presentation. He will know his own mind and want to make a decision and move on to other things as quickly as possible. Don’t try to make small talk with this person.

A blue person is someone who prefers to warm up slowly; to chat first to get your measure; to be drawn out about problems; and to take time before deciding to buy. You need to allow plenty of time for your meeting, and you may need to go back more than once to clinch your deal.

A green person is highly analytical so he will want chapter and verse on small details, timetables and budgets. You need to be patient and have all these details to hand. Don’t give any fudged answers. If you have to promise to get back to them after finding out about something, do this as quickly as possible.

Of course people can be more like a rainbow, but there will usually be some traits more predominate than others. If you can’t find out about your contact beforehand, you will need to be prepared for all three, and make a snap judgment at your meeting. It’s not difficult if you have these three possibilities in mind. Practise this by thinking of people you know and trying to assign them a color. Or watch people you don’t know interacting in shops, at the station or in a car park.

3. Know your competitors. If you’ve done this homework, you will know who else could be in the frame and how your products would compare. What are the strengths of your offering that make for successful marketing?

4. Plan and practise. There is no substitute for this. It takes time and effort, but if you make the commitment, you will have the confidence to let your enthusiasm and passion for your area of business shine through.

But always remember, the cheapest and easiest way for an entrepreneur to get business is from your own customers. It’s easier to get to know them than other prospects. To get repeat business, keep in touch personally and find out how they are getting on with your product or service. Tell them you welcome complaints as opportunities to make improvements if and when necessary. Your marketing should ensure you will always be the supplier they will call first.

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