Each year, I am fortunate enough to get to travel and speak at some trade shows and conferences. One of my favorites is with All Hours Tanning Distributors – and I get to do two of my favorite things: 1) Visit the PNW and all the people here who I love, and 2) teach Norvell University! This morning, I gave a presentation to around 150 business owners to increase the yield of their marketing efforts this year. This seemed like the perfect list to share with you all!
- Always tell the truth. Lying for the sake of impressing a customer or getting the sale is never a good idea. It will always bite you in the butt, and more often than not the customer will sense it coming and back out of the sale.
- Spend your time (and money) where your heart is. As business owners, we are asked literally multiple times a day to donate to (insert cause here) cause. Many of us would love to donate to each of these – but then we would be out of business. I always encourage owners to pick a cause or two that’s important to them, and put their time and money there. You can make a difference when you are investing what you have in one or two organizations instead of twenty.
- Use REAL people. Instead of the beautiful, perfect, ideal, unreliable image, use real people in your ads. People can relate with this and see themselves in that position (tanning is the worst at this, y’all).
- Market in waves, and don’t fight the tide. Most businesses have multiple products and services to offer. Spend your time and energy telling the story of one product or service over and over, until you feel like you’ve said it so much that you can’t say it again. By this point, your customers will start to get the point and listen.
By don’t fight the tide, I mean market what makes sense – don’t try to sell a product when your customers don’t want it. Don’t try to sell coats when it’s 90 degrees outside. Don’t try to sell UV tanning in October. Promote what people are looking for.
- Empower your employees to take care of your customers. Sure, there are rules for a reason. Giving your employees the power they need to make decisions that support your business. Trust them to make the right call and be able to tell you why they made it. If it’s not the decision you would have made, it’s a teaching moment! If it is – cause to celebrate. 🙂
- Don’t be afraid to give it away – but then, don’t give it away. This is a bit of a paradox, but it will make sense in a moment!
You have to trust your product enough to be able to give it away to “hook” people. But, once you’ve got them hooked… don’t give it away for free, or discount the fire out of it just to sell.
The subtext for this one: There is value in what you do/sell, until you diminish that value. Trust that your product and service is worth something – and then sell it for that, over and over again.
- Create a lifestyle in your business. Make your business something attractive that people want to be a part of. Make it fun and contagious. If you build it, they will come!
- Own your business; don’t let it own you. Y’all, this is hard. We go into business for ourselves to create a certain life for ourselves, but it is so easy to let the day in, day out of the business take over. Be sure to own your business instead of letting it own you. (preaching to myself here, too).
- Focus on telling, not on selling. Focus on telling the story of what you do and what you’re selling, instead of trying to sell. If you focus on explaining the value in what you do, it will bring the customers. Tell your story and they will listen.
- Love what matters. This is cliche, but it’s the truth! Keep your priorities in line, and love what matters most. If you do this, your work life will be the piece of the pie it’s supposed to instead of owning your whole life.
Business owners, what are your rules for success? I’ve learned we can certainly all learn from each other!
Here’s to the best year yet!