|You own a local business and you rely on the
local community for your business. How do you view this
relationship? Is it just about making sales? Is it just
about ringing the cash register? If so, you will never grow
your business to its full potential.
Look at the relationship (and it is a relationship)
another way, well...actually two other ways. First, how your
business interacts with the local community as a whole, and
second, how your business interacts on a one-to-one basis
with your prospects and your customers.
IT IS THOSE RELATIONSHIPS (BUSINESS-TO-COMMUNITY AND
BUSINESS-TO-INDIVIDUAL) THAT DEFINES THE SUCCESS OR FAILURE
OF YOUR BUSINESS.
In essence, your business does have two faces. One, the
face it presents to the community as a whole, and two, the
face it presents every time it interacts with a prospect or
customer. Although they are separate and quite possibly
managed at different levels, they need to be integrated and
complimentary. Have you even thought about this?
Your presence in the community can be
"larger-than-life" or practically invisible. Guess which
one is the most desirable? And as to how you relate to each
individual your business comes into contact with...it can
either leave a positive lasting impression, or no impression
at all. Again, guess which one is the most desirable.
Both the methods you employ to connect with the local
community and your message are equally important. Offline
marketing and online marketing both play a part. Both need
to work with each other, multiplying the effect of each
other. Marketing offline? Then give your local community a
reason to visit both you and your website. Marketing online?
Then give your local community a reason to visit both you
and your website. The results should be the same - to create
an active relationship between you and your community. To
connect your business with local customers.
Look to see how your business can add value to the
community at the macro level - business-to-community.
Create ways to interact with the community as a whole. And yes, no matter how it takes form, you can
use this level of interaction to drive sales and profits.
And as for business-to-individual - add value to each
interaction, give more than is expected, offer incentives to
do more business. Do this every time you touch a prospect or
a customer. Ask for referrals the right way. Show prospects
and customers that you understand their value to your
business. Create structured marketing programs to handle the
above in an almost automatic manner.
And in all communications, both with the community as a
whole and with each and every individual, keep in mind your UNIQUE
SELLING PROPOSITION. This is the overriding value
proposition you offer your customers that makes you
different (and better) than your competition.
It will take some time and energy to a) understand
this concept b) understand how to make it work for
your business and c) integrate and implement the
various methods and messages into your marketing. But when you
do, you will be so far ahead of your competition that it
will absolutely astonish you.
There is structure in the above. The ideas behind this
marketing philosophy can and should be implemented via a
structured, step-by-step systemized program. In that way,
the unknown is taken out of the equation, each step is laid
out on the journey to more sales and profits through your
business correctly connecting with local customers.