I’m not kidding. There’s still a group of people out there who believe using shady tactics is the way to gain and keep customers. They’re right, as long as you don’t care about satisfied customers and the amount of eye rolling that accompanies your name and any conversation of ethics.
We recently requested a new sales rep from a vendor. Dealing with the one currently assigned to our little group is like chewing on broken glass. The Vice President of Sales of the company informed us we could switch if WE wanted to have the uncomfortable conversation with the rep. Seriously? Thanks, but we’ve decided to do business with another company altogether.
In a similar situation, a client is dealing with a web developer who took advantage of their lack of technical knowledge by registering the client’s domain name under his name. Now my client wants to take their business elsewhere, but they’ll have to register a new domain, change printed materials, etc.
Both of these situations are examples of what I call Bully or Hostage Marketing.
The happiest customers are those who have a choice, and choose to do business with you. They often become great ambassadors for your business, referring others to you and spending more because they love what you do for them.
Nobody wants to lose a customer, but how much is an unhappy “hostage” customer worth versus an enthusiastic volunteer customer? The difference is priceless.
I bank at several local financial institutions. I am a firm believer in supporting local businesses, and think they can deliver service on a level with which no conglomerate can compete.
Last Sunday, I stopped by the ATM to grab some cash. As I drove up, I noticed a cobweb. I’m not talking a small tuft in the corner. I’m talking a legitimate collecting dirt, leaves, small mansion for a family of spiders. My first thought was, “Ewwww!”
My second thought was, “Oh no!” I like this organization. All I could think was how everyone who stops by this particular ATM (very close to an interstate) will have the same first response I did. The impression those not familiar or as loyal to this particular financial institution is they lack attention to detail and don’t care. This impression is definitely not in alignment with the company’s brand.
How does this problem get solved? Well, yes…clean up the cobweb. But, there will always be another cobweb (literally or metaphorically). In this particular instance, I know there are two tellers who balance this machine every business day. When they see they cobweb (they have to have seen it), are they thinking, “It’s not my job.”?
The truth is, it’s everybody’s job. The ATM, teller, receptionist, maintenance crew are all spokespeople for the business. Take a look around, who (and what) are the spokespeople for your business?
Teach them to remove the cobwebs. You don’t need the cobwebs speaking for you. --Hillary
BY 2ND STORY MARKETING
Ever heard of collaboration marketing? Well, that’s us! Courtney, Hillary and I (Lori) combined forces because it just made sense. We have a mutually beneficial relationship where we share ideas, resources, and an office in downtown Coldwater. We’ve agreed to contribute our time to one another’s projects when it’s necessary. Ever sat at your desk and just stared at your computer because you can’t come up with the right thing to say? I sure have. With the three of us sharing an office we’re able to brainstorm concepts together. The power and possibilities you can accomplish from a brainstorming session are numerous, exciting and (can be) quite profitable! Keep in mind; it’s worked on a basis of trust. There is trust amongst the three of us, trust between ourselves and our clients, and trust between all of our other circles we’re a part of. Trust me, it’s working. Collaboration marketing has helped us grow our independent consultation businesses immensely. If anyone ever has questions on the way we’ve made collaboration marketing successful, please let us know.