Are You Scaring Off Your Customers?
Continuing the seasonal theme in Scribbles this year, as its October, I thought I’d look at scary marketing, since Halloween is at the end of the month. There are some businesses that actually scare off their clients and prospects through bad or downright scary marketing. I hope you’re not one of them! This issue of the newsletter will show you some examples of good, bad and pretty scary marketing, to help you to avoid the mistakes and get your marketing right.
And at the end of the newsletter you’ll find a few tricks and treats too!
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Are You Scaring Off Your Customers?
When you provide a service to your clients – such as coaching, consulting, or training – you can’t compete on price. Why not? Because you’re not selling anything tangible that can be compared by size, shape or taste with what your competitors are selling. If you try to compete on price, you’ll just end up dropping your price lower and lower in an attempt to be the cheapest. By doing that, not only do you end up making no money – and even possibly losing money – but, more importantly, you start to de-value your business. Being seen as ‘cheap’ by your prospective clients is probably not the reputation that you want for your business, or your bank balance.
Let me give you an example, based on two different restaurants. In case you’re wondering how restaurants compare to coaching and consulting businesses, I actually think that they’re very similar. Yes, restaurants provide you with a tangible product – the food and drink that they serve you. But they also deliver a service – the experience of eating there.
Before I go into the details here, I have to say that I’ve only ever eaten in one of this chain’s restaurants once and it was so long ago that I can’t actually remember what the experience or the food was like. I’m writing about them because of the sign that I saw outside one of their restaurants. It says “Looks posh. Tastes Nando’s”. Now maybe I’m missing the point, but I interpret that as “Looks posh. Tastes cheap/bad/opposite of posh.” It could just be the way that my brain works, but I’m sure that I’m not alone in thinking this. And if some of the rest of the population are with me in reading this sign in this way, then this restaurant could be doing a really good job of scaring off a number of potential customers.
Is your marketing message crystal clear? If you’re not sure, test it with plenty of critical prospects and actual clients (and even the occasional Marketing Consultant!) to make sure that you’re giving out exactly the message you want to.
This summer I spend a lovely day with my husband in London. We found a great little Italian restaurant tucked away in a side road. There were a few restaurants in the area for us to choose from and we went for this one partly because of the sign outside – a hand written A-frame telling us about their two-course set lunch menu for £16.95. It sounded good to us and they had tables outside on the pavement, where we could sit and watch the world go by. We did so, for a couple of hours, with delicious Italian food, a wonderful glass of wine and waiters who were brilliantly attentive without bothering us. They didn’t rush us to move on and the waitress beamed with pride when we told her that the cheesecake was the best we’d tasted in a long time.
The bill came to a lot more than £33.90 – what we would have paid for just our two courses – by the time we’d added wine and coffee. And it was worth it for the experience and the food. The marketing on the sign was clever, tempting us in with a good offer. It said nothing about being cheaper than the restaurant over the road and was welcoming. The service we received encouraged us to linger and spend more.
Is your marketing welcoming? Do you promote the service and the value that you offer to your clients, without worrying about the price? When you can deliver a truly top class service, clients will pay you want you want to charge for it.
Tricks and Treats for Your Marketing
I have learnt a great deal this year about marketing, from some experts in the field. I’ve been reading their books, listening to their webinars and hearing them speak. I have a number of great books that I’ve read, that I would like to share with you. If you would like any of these second hand and well read books, let me know which one and I will send it to you. All you have to do is send a few pounds to cover the postage.
On the shelf I have:
Staying in the Helicopter – The Key to Profitable Growth by Roger Harrop
Passion into Profit – How to Make Big Money From Who You Are and What You Know by Andy Harrington
The Exceptional Speaker by Alan Stevens & Paul do Toit
The Challenger Customer – Selling to the Hidden Influence Who Can Multiply Your Results by Brent Adamson & others
The Brand Bucket: Make Your Marketing Work by Barnaby Wynter
The New Rules of Marketing and PR: How to Use News Releases, Blogs, Podcasting, Viral Marketing and Online Media to Reach Buyers Directly by David Meerman Scott
Breaking the Barriers to Business Growth: A Compilation of Expert Insights into Growing Your Business by lots of people!
First come, first served, so if you’d like any of the above, click here to email me to send me your address, or call on 01635 578 500.