Hard-selling is Hurting Your Business

 

As I was finishing up social media and closing for the day, I took a moment to check my e-mail. A well-known business consultant was posting a plea for people to STOP Hard-selling.                                       salesman

Hard-selling happens to be one of my pet-peeves. I was sure that I had written about it before because I despise it so much. After looking, I had never written anything about hard-selling-what it is, why not to, what a better alternative is.

We all have fallen victim to hard-selling tactics. The picture that usually comes to mind is a used car salesman (please note, I have a couple great friends that are used car sales persons, that don’t do this), another may be a store at the mall that wants you to come inside ad try a product. Another example, if you’ve ever been to Las Vegas, is the salespeople that ask if you are going to be staying for another night. They offer you a FREE night at a super, deluxe villa. It’s their sales ploy to get you in their building and sell you something.

It’s somewhat harassing and embarrassing for the person being sold to. I can’t imagine how it feels to depend on this approach to sell your product or service.

I won’t get too much into the psychology of it, but this approach is usually used by individuals promoting a product or services they don’t necessarily believe in or understand.

As a business owner, it is your number one job to know your product, know how it benefits others, and believe in your product. Years ago, there were telephone solicitors that would call up and ask you to change telephone service providers from AT&T to MCI to Sprint. (If you remember MCI, I’m pretty impressed). The salesperson would tout all the savings and added benefits and people would switch service providers. Stockbrokers would cold call people out of the phonebook- and people would buy!

People actually sent $5000 or $10,000 to a stockbroker to buy stock in XYZ as a result of one call from a stranger.

hello friendTimes have changed, folks. Not only have people been scammed, they are less trustworthy, and they are smarter. A great business man told me recently, it’s not that so many businesses are bad, they are failing because so many businesses are good.

For generations, businesses could continue to run even with bad customer service, poor products, and shoddy work. Today, people are smarter and more businesses are better at what they do that in the past. The market is more competitive, so you can’t simply cold call and make a sale. You must show someone who you are, why they need your product, and why they should buy from you.

As people get smarter, they can see through the sales-y pitch you are feeding them. People do not want to be sold. They don’t want to waste their time or money. If they get the impression that you have sold them or want to sell them something they don’t feel a need for now. They are not going to buy.

That doesn’t mean that they won’t need it later. But if you waste that opportunity by trying to sell them when they aren’t interested, they will never want to buy from you even if they do find a need for it in the future. So, slow down on the hard sale, and give people time to decide if they want your product, if it has value to them, and if they want to buy it from you!

Get Your Business Ready for Summer

Are you ready for the dog days of summer?IMG_1591[1]

For some, the summer means lying around the pool with unlimited lemonade and an umbrella overhead with a convenient misting system. For others, it’s business as usual! If your concerned about how the summer is going to impact your business, plan ahead and make the summer your best quarter yet!

Many business owners run their businesses the same way all four seasons. They set up a marketing plan with the goal of promoting their services or products without any thought to the changes that occur throughout the year.  It’s important to realize that business is different in the summer and recognize how this should affect your marketing efforts and will impact your bottom line.

Typically, one would think of clothing retailers and travel-centered businesses as examples of businesses that would be most affected by the seasonal changes that summer brings. A few others come to mind as well, like rental property, or even children’s dance studios (most do not provide dance class during the summer because of summer travel).

IMG_1589[1]But it is important that other businesses recognize that beautiful weather and time off from school can impact more than the typical businesses you often think of.

Take the time to brainstorm how your business may be impacted by the following:

  • Increased time available for children and teens
  • Increased demand on a parent’s time (possibly)
  • Hot whether equals less casual attire (at home and in the office)
  • Increased level of boredom for children at home while parents are working
  • Decreased funds due to having to entertain and feed kids all day, every day
  • Decreased local socializing and purchases due to family vacations and travel out of town or out of state
  • More or less outings to restaurants due to kids being out-of-school

The above list are just some examples that may affect your community during the summer months. On the other hand, your locale may see an opposite affect. For example, if you live in a vacation destination, you may have increase in traffic. Additionally, explore other changes (not just around family and children) that may affect your business.

Some people increase the amount of reading they do during the summer months. Others hire landscapers to free up time while DIYers may take on yard work to be outside more.

Evaluate changes in the market that could impact your business in the summer, and plan ways to reduce any negative impact they may have on your business.

Possible solutions to making the summer a great experience for you, your family, and your business include:

  • Using time-saving technology to schedule obligations in advance
  • Incorporate children into your daily business routine
  • Create a different marketing strategy or campaign for your business to utilize positive changes the season brings
  • Plan ahead to occupy children while you take care of your business responsibilities
  • Include rest and relaxation into your summer quarter and you would feel like you missed out

Feel good about the plan you’ve created to enjoy and make money during the summer. Look forward and do the same for the Fall! You’ll feel more prepared for the months ahead and reduce any negative affects the next season brings with it.

4 Tips for Using Social Media Efficiently

4 Tips for Using Social Media Efficiently

  1. Do your Social Media on the weekend- schedule a majority of your social media activities in advance leaving actual interaction with others to an hour a day.
  2. Outsource basics- I feel social media requires some amount of personal interaction to be genuine. If you feel you can’t keep your daily usage to a minimum, think about outsourcing basic posts and focus your energy on communicating with specific individuals.
  3. Set up an editorial calendar- Just like writers and bloggers, create a social media calendar to keep you focused and effective. Make a list of topics you want to talk about or communicate to others on your social media platforms with a consistent message. This is a great way to make sure you are getting your message across and keeping yourself from combing every corner of the Internet.
  4. Know what you are going to say before you turn on the computer. In addition to Tip #3, gather four or five various types of basic post layouts that work well for you and your business. Some businesses do well with profiles, interviews, lists, or product reviews. Combine this strategy with your editorial calendar and you will never draw a blank on what to focus on tomorrow. For example, if your business provides products incorporate a list of bestsellers, profile the designer, publish a pic of the products in action or how they look together.