In various meetings, seminars and sessions with clients this week. A word has cropped up time and time again…..
But what is the big deal?
Why are we all using this word?
I found myself thinking about this, and I think this has something to do with it.
We have been through a time where clever marketing got us to buy things, then marketing got cleverer and still we bought things. Now as we are told the world is ending, banks are collapsing (mmmm who was it that announced over a billion £ profit this week in the banking world?) countries economies are toppling, the air is polluted…..”Run for the hills, we’re all gonna die” well you get the idea.
The fact is in the current nervous climate we want things transparent. We don’t want to be sold at. We want the facts.
What will it do?
How will it do that?
Will it make a big difference to my life, my business, my hair, my health……?
And so transparency becomes so important to us.
How many times has someone phoned you and rattled on about a million things, not cutting to the chase of what they want, what they want you to do, and how and when they want it to happen?
Wouldn’t it be great if people were more honest?
Wouldn’t it be great if there was no hidden agenda?
I think that is why honest marketing, clear talking and transparent ideas and actions are the order of the day.
And if you can get that into your marketing, your business ethos and the way you engage with people, they are far more likely to interact with you. And we all know where that can lead don’t we.
They want the real you, they want to know that the people they chose to work with care and will do their best, and the best way to show that is with transparency.
And a point to remember is, if you come up against people and businesses that are not prepared to be transparent then, you start to question what are you hiding? What aren’t you telling me?
When people feel like they have the whole picture, with no hidden agendas they relax, they get to like you and your products and that is taking you well on the way to a sale.
So get clear, transparent, see through, honest and straight talking in your business today.
(And a little note on the collapse of the universe – its highly likely business women like you and I will still get up tomorrow, get ready for work, make a difference to the people we work with and drink another cuppa – don’t buy into the media madness – its just a thought, but I know how powerful they can be!)
Mandie Holgate shared this with us, our Essex coordinator, if you are a coordinator for The BWN or have the Business Premier Pack and you have something useful or interesting to share with business women send it to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will link it to your website too.
Yesterday because our children had deserted us for a day of kites flying and eating E-numbers with grandparents my husband suggested a leisurely stroll around the shops. As we walked through a rather glittery department store (don’t you just love those? I feel they are like toy shops for women!) We walked through the cosmetic department.
That morning Hubby had watched me scrape the sides of my moisturiser and so as we strolled through he said “Why don’t you buy some products?”
What a stupid thing to say to a woman amongst so so so many pretty bottles.
I spent an hour walking around each counter, being introduced to all manner of products and it got me thinking.
When we chose to buy, what is it that makes us buy?
What is the thing that tips in one companies favour over another’s?
Well yesterday sums it up nicely.
You see, there was not going to be a single product in that store that would not brighten, reduce wrinkles or make your skin glow. Every product would promise things like that.
So how then do you decide which is best?
You could look at price – but a) hubby was intent on spoiling me (and who was I to argue!) and b)I wanted products that were right for me – price was secondary – and that dear readers is true of most people, with most purchases.
So price is ruled out, they all claim to do amazing things to make me look like a sprightly teen. So now what?
I chose on this.
As I walked from counter to counter. 3 people had stood out at 3 counters of gorgeous glossy bottles.
Woman 1 because every time I went to ask her a question she went into her spiel and wouldn’t allow me to finish. How many of you know someone that in their marketing concentrates on what THEY want to tell potential clients as opposed to what the potential client ACTUALLY WANTS to know?
Woman 2 because she was insistent that I love the cute bottles and the fact that their products were the best. Everyone on the planet thinks their product is better than their competitor (otherwise why be in business?) But the fact is that is not what matters to the customer, so stop bleating on to me about how amazing you are, people like to work that out for themselves. Otherwise they fight it and run away – which is exactly what I did – note here – these products were actually the cheapest, but I was completely turned off by the experience. I was on her agenda not mine. mmmm another analogy about marketing me thinks.
Lastly Woman 3 – I even remember her name, Lauren. Lauren listened to what I wanted. Lauren answered my questions directly. Lauren engaged with me. Lauren did not try and tell me I had to clear an hour in the morning to clean my face and moisturise. She LISTENED to the fact I had 10 minutes before I legged it to 412 other jobs (a lesson Woman 1 could well do with learning!) And on top of Lauren’s genuine interest in supplying what I the customer needed. Lauren had beautiful skin. (Woman 1 and 2’s makeup and skin were nowhere near as naturally immaculate as Lauren’s)
The fact is Lauren ticked all the boxes to make the sale;
She listened to what the customer wanted.
She answered the questions that the customer wanted answering.
She matched the needs of the customer with their products.
She acted like she cared about the customer.
But most importantly she gave the customer a really pleasurable experience that I will remember and I WILL go back – now who would like customers that automatically come back?
And lastly she was congruent to everything she said, and this gave her credibility.
Mmmmm amazing what a cosmetic counter can tell you about marketing.