What motivates your customer to buy

26 08 2007

You absolutely should be finding out what values your customer holds that will influence their final decision during your sales presentation. People are not as motivated by price as you may think. Actually they are destined by value. Unfortunately money or the price is how we communicate our values when we are making a buying decision. MOST sales people think that the price of something is what caused the customer NOT to buy which is simply not true. The value the customer PERCEIVES for the money that are spending not matching is not a no it just means you have to find a way to add more value to the perception is more balanced in customers head. Remember money is just the tool that we all use to communicate value through.

Find out what they want your product to accomplish in their life. How it will make them feel in owning it ? Does it make them look intelligent to their neighbors ? Does it make them sexier to their mate? Or does it help them to accomplish other goals by saving them money? What is this really doing to affect the quality of their life either directly or indirectly? If you find out what a customer true motivation is by finding out what their values and beliefs are you can design an individual sales presentation. You can then determine how to sell specific features about your product or service to this unique person based on ideas that you know will determine a more positive outcome for both you as well as the customer.


How to connect your customers with your products

24 08 2007

I was just watching “The Big Idea” on CNBC. Ive already talked about how great I think this show is for ideas. Well tonight when I was watching Donny was giving advice to a new company calledGraffeeti who make a new shoe for kids that you can write on and erase. (How many pairs of shoes did I ruin doing this?) Anyway he was talking about the message on the shoe and he starts talking about the core emotional benefit to your customer using your product.

So often I find that when companies use benefit messages they are talking to the customer in terms of what the product or service does instead of the emotional values. I often say if you give people a big enough reason why they will figure out the how. What I mean is give customers the end result of what they will gain in using your product or sevice on an emotional (not a logical level). In turn they won’t need to know what the product does or how it does it they will figure that out for themselves. The bigger you can make the emotional benefit to the individual the more valuable you will be to them. Let me give you a great example that applied to me of what I mean.

I am a huge music lover and when I first heard of the Ipod I thought that is nice. Then a friend of mine bought one and showed me how I could have my ENTIRE music collection in my pocket at all times. Now the idea of having that ability there was no wanting an Ipod I simply had to have one. As I was factoring the amount of time I would save never having to find a specific CD, figuring out what I wanted to listen to and the all the time I was wasting withcd cases, cds and loading them in and out of player.

My friend had showed me how much more productive, easier and more enjoyable my life would be with this device. When I saw it I was looking at the how this would hold my music (which doesn’t matter) when he showed me what it would do for my life I focused on the big picture– my enjoyment of music. I would figure out all the hows to get me to the reason why I wanted it. This is why Apple is so good in my book they simply show you how much better your life will be and literally the products sell themselves–how easy is that.

Getting back to “The Big Idea” the inventors talked about this statement on the shoe “Tag your it” and they where talking about the game of tag which was good. However what Donny said was great which was you should be talking about the individuality and the creativity of the end user. Create a great statement on that and those shoes will sell themselves. Here is why –the people taking a quick glance at the shoes don’t realize you could CHANGE the design to fit who you are whenever you wanted to. Well I gotta go “The Big Idea” is on again.

Customer Loyalty–Giving 110% to your customers

20 08 2007

So many companies talk about how important their customers are to them yet so few of they actually show it. They treat customers as though the customer is completely dependent on them and act as though there is no competition. Since they did a good job once a getting the customers attention that now they don’t have to do anymore work.  Most companies fail at ever getting my business again. The sad part is if they cared just a  little bit and took the time to ask me how I felt about the interaction I might return. No instead these businesses rest on their laurels doingABSOLUTELY NOTHING in terms of customer loyalty.

You shouldn’t be focusing on how you get the job done as a small business owner but instead you should be focused on how the person you did the work for feels about it. You should be showering that person with gratitude so that when they need your services again or maybe somebody they know does  YOUR THE  FIRST  AND ONLY  person or small business they think about recommending or going back to. This Isn’t some pie in the sky philosophy it actually works but only if you take the time to work at it. I know several sales professionals that would blow your mind with the way they get repeat business (including me). If you look at all of us the we have the same goal “it doesn’t matter to us if we did a good job however if our customer feel we have done a good job that we have been successful” Now notice there I DIDN’T say that we sold more than others , that we earned more in commissions, or that we sold a lot to each customer. Regular sales people may feel that way but we don’t. If the customer thinks we did a good job only then do I feel I have been sucessful at my job. It has nothing to do with outside goals it purely boils down to one line which is todays lesson.

Asking every of yourself and of the customer “What have I accomplished that has made the lives of the people I serve easier, richer, more meaningful and overall enjoyable life?” Every little thing that any of us do as human beings on this planet is do those things in that question.  Some of us just happen to be lucky enough to be making a living making people lives better. Start realizing and being grateful for those you serve.

Starting a new business in a competitive industry

16 08 2007

I had a friend walk up to me last night after I was done playing pool another passion of mine. He has seen some of the previous consulting work I had done for other small business start ups and asked me a question I get alot. So I figured I’d share this because I’m sure some of my readers may be asking the same thing.I have this idea for a business that I know other people make money at what do I do?What are you doing differently then they are to separate yourself in the potential customers mind? In other words why are people going to choose you over your competition. He then gave me a little info on what business it is  and I gave him some example that he hadn’t thought of yet. A really great question I love to ask people to help them with this concept is the oppposite minded. What need is not being met by the businesses right now that you could fill? What is it that you see other companies NOT doing that you have a passion toward?I call it looking for the gaps and if you find a gap big enough you can have a amazing business. So often though people have such enthusiam for starting the new business which I commend. They don’t stop and ask if the need is already being met. So why be one of many when you can create a new alternative? Business that ask if what can they do better than those already out their are the one with people beating a path to their door.This is a tried and true concept of the USP unique selling point. Which you find out what makes you business unique even in a crowded industry. Your businesses “voice” is what potential customers are going to use to decide if they will do business with you or not let me give you a great example of what I mean.The other day I went out to rent the movie “Wild Hogs” at Blockbuster they wanted $4.50 for a two day rental I thought that was a little crazy and didn’t know if I could watch if that night so I walked out. Before I went home I stopped at Hollywood video and they had it same price and same movie but one BIG difference to me. They had a five day rental at $4.50 BUT if I was done with it tommorow and I bought it back that would credit $1 to my account. Instead of punishing me for not watching the movie fast enough  (the late fees at blockbuster) Hollywood video would REWARD me for getting it back to them sooner BUT I the customer was in control and didn’t have too (I could keep it for 5 days it’s only a buck). So now im changing my habits because of how I felt like the getting back the rental was more important to Blockbuster than me then customers EXPERIENCE. Hollywood gets the visits first and probrably the majority of my rental income because of this shift. I made my decision because of each businesses voice and what each was saying to me.

Five Guys Burgers –the best mission / customer statement ever

15 08 2007

It’s not a secret that I LOVE 5 Guys Burgers and Fries.

However besides the BEST burgers they have one of the best business models I have ever seen. I will break down all the little things they do into a few posts because as simple as they are they are the most profound ideas I have ever seen for any business.

Most of the ideas has to do with the expectations that 5 guys has for the customer experience. They value the customer and they let them know it by showing it as well as telling it to them. Basically they back up their words with action. They let you know what the priorities are as you will see. It’s one of the greatest things I have ever seen. If you ever get a chance go to a five guys and before you eat look at this amazing business model. These five guys are the poster child for customer value and  loyalty.

EVERY SINGLE BUSINESS ON THE PLANET that serves customers should be using this statement in ALL areas of their company.

This is posted on the soda machine –the first place you go after ordering your food(I am going to ask 5 guys to post the actual sign but until I get approval here’s the wording)

Thank You Customers

You the customer are the most important visitor on our premises.You are not dependent on us, we are dependent on you. You are not an outsider in our business –you are a part of it. We are not doing you a favor by serving you– you are doing us a favor by giving us the opportunity to do so.

Thank You

Five Guys

If you live that mission statement I will tell that you’ll be ahead of over 90% of your competition and at least 97% ahead of all businesses. Remember it’s real easy to say but takes a serious mindset change and dedication to action to live it.  Did I mention the five guysi’ve been in are always busy and I’ve had to gladly wait in line for the best burgers? I think their revolutionary model is absolutely working.  TheyLIVE AND BREATH the customer is first and i’ll show you more later.


Customer Appreciation #2-The most meaningful way to say “Thank you” to your customers

12 08 2007

This one is really simple but still so profoundly powerful. Everybody on this planet that I have met up to this point they want to feel important and like their life while they are here has meaning. I sure as heck know I do and I have pretty good idea that you do to. So the best thing you can do for a customer might not even to be to give back to them directly. WHAT?!?! Tom you’ve lost it—I can hear you now. However hear me out you are going to be glad you did.

Let me start off this idea with an example of a great friend of mine Helen who is an animal lover or should I say activist. This woman who is in her 70’s defends the rights of animals that are being abused by their owners because they can’t defend themselves. <On a personal note–She is the reason that when I found a kitten that was left to die by her previous owners I was NOT about to let that happen and she’s healthy and on my lap as I type this>. Now this woman’s passion on the subject was simply amazing to me and helped me to open up my view of the world. She is one of those people that is so giving she would never even think of having you buy her a present.

I wanted to show her how much she meant to me (no I didn’t buy her a cat LOL) I gave a donation to the organization that helps animals in need the SPCA in her name. When she got the thank you from that she was on the verge of tears. She said “Tom that is the most thoughtful thing anybody has ever given me –THANK YOU”. I might add whenever I’m in her company and probably more when I’m not and I meet one of her friends she says this is my friend Tom Titlow and listen to what he gave me she there by launches into the story of that gift. Did I do it to draw attention? NO. Did I expect her to brag about it? NO. I was only trying to give a gift that would be meaningful to her.

However I took this idea and I applied it to my business. I did one thing that has worked like a charm to make my customers feel extremely appreciated, important and valued as human beings instead of just as my customers. This thoughtful approach has earned me many repeat sales. Do I do it for that reason? NO, but it is a nice bonus. The real reason I did it was to show how grateful I am to my customers for giving me the opportunity to serve them.

So instead of having sales I let them know up front if that I will donate any of the dollars off to what is their # 1 non profit organization. Now of course I make the donation in the customers name and nobody has ever told me no. Several have asked me if I would do the same for a second or a third sale? At this point I like to disappoint them (just for a second) and I tell them no unfortunately it is not good on the next sale……..pause, pause,pause I will be donating MORE to them with that purchase. Of course we both have a nice chuckle.

There are several times where I never mention a sale or discount and it works better. I just off- handed ask what organization means the most to them or I figure it out in conversation and I make the donation without their knowledge. Which then of course has them scratching their head asking “why did he do that if he didn’t have to?” In my mind I did have to because anything I can do to show my customers appreciation and how important they are to me is an absolute necessity whether I ever see them again or not.

Start donating on your customers behalf and watch how it impacts your business in every area.

The simple path to make EVERY marketing program successful

8 08 2007

SBO’s often think that the primary piece that their marketing program has to accomplish is to get prospective customer(s) to become interested, educated and willing to purchase the product. Here’s a surefire way to get a customers attention faster, better and keep it longer than your competition— DO the one thing that nobody would ever expect, but don’t offend the customer. Get crazy go nuts@!@!!@@! REalize that the beSt marketing, advertising, and sales programs ever created did one thing better than the rest before getting the customer to listen to YOUR message. The get the person to S-T-O-P paying attention to whatever they are doing. It’s called pattern interupt and its is crucial because your goal is their undivided attention and the funniest most creative , and ALMOST bizaarre way you can get it the more business you’ll get and the faster you’ll close sales because you’ll be in that persons forefront when making a decision to make a purchause in your industry. The more crowded the environment the more creative you have to be. Now this doesn’t nessarily mean the loudest. Sometimes taking away and being the quietest is what gets people to pay attention.

Step#1 pull peoples attention away from where it is now.

Step#2 then immediately create the desire to want to pay attention to what you want to say next.

Step#3 after you’ve created the desire then you give your message

here’s a few hints –If you have to compete for somebodys attention you’ve already lost.

Remember first you have to sell–needing undivided attention

Then and only then you say what you trying to say keep it short, Shocking and interesting. Remember the customer doesn’t feel they need your product as much as you feel they need your product–So you win in the delivery not the message.

“If you have a great product but you haven’t go peoples attention YOU will go broke it’s just a matter of when”


“if you make somebody enjoy their life a little bit more(maybe making them laugh) they will remember you and will go out of the way because you created interest.”

The more enjoyable you can make their life is the short term the more success you will enjoy in the long term.

“What can I do today for my customers that they wouldn’t EXPECT but would actually ENJOY?”