I was reflecting today on a number of situations in recent times where I have seen a bewildering lack of common sense from people trying to market services and products. In all such situations website and business owners fail to grasp key elements that are essential if you want to connect with potential customers. This article points out what may seem to many as blindingly obvious, but such simple considerations elude those who are so certain of their own superior thinking! I don’t claim to have all the answers that create business success, but there are key principals which are always worth paying attention to if you want to engage and attract customers.
Getting and staying on the radar
The first rule of effective communication is to “get attention” Simple enough? Well as my own mentor used to say “Lower your expectations!” Many people spectacularly fail to appreciate this simple consideration and the inevitable consequences. Smart business owners appreciate the importance of being noticed in order to generate new customers. The alternative is not to be noticed or ignored! Does this sound like basic common sense? Well as a colleague of mine once said “Such sense isn’t as common as you might think!”
Online Presence (or lack of it)
In April 2015 Google changed its algorithms, so that websites that are not “mobile friendly” would be downgraded. At that time, I was hiring room space from a business in Leeds and immediately alerted them to this change as I knew that they were often struggling to fill room space. I was surprised to hear that this was not considered to in anyway be a priority and as of today they have still not upgraded the site and their social media presence has been dormant for months!
Often such business concerns truly have their heads in the sand and rather than pay attention to the detail of smart marketing, they often do nothing and/or initiate some very ill informed attempts at promoting their business. I have learned over the decades that any practical and sensible advice will always fall on deaf ears and even when longstanding customers vote with their feet, they still insist that their strategy is the smart one to adopt! The internet and especially social media is crucial in maintaining customer interest and this requires constant and ongoing attention if you want to grow your business.
Building and keeping the right team
In 1980s and 1990s, I worked in the recruitment sector, setting up and managing two substantial business concerns. As well as placing candidates with major companies I also really appreciated the importance of building the right team. I was also amazed that some companies simply don’t appreciate this basic rule of business. Often managers with little sense adopt the “If you don’t like it, there’s the door” policy and amazingly in recent times I heard of one would be director issuing such a proclamation to a great member of staff, who then voted with her feet! This combination of stupidity and supreme arrogance sounds the death knell for most business concerns! Of course this is one example of an executive director out of their depth. Fortunately, there are many counter examples and I have numerous clients on a 1 – 1 coaching retainer basis who are always refining and reviewing how they run their businesses.
Setting Sensible expectations for clients
Another common mistake for business owners is to set unrealistic expectations. This is especially true for people who work in professional healthcare and similar industries. Making unrealistic claims can be seen as a short cut for attracting new clients, but is always going to create problems down the line. It’s also important not to under promise and set too low expectations. Often when clients seek therapeutic assistance they have already seen other professionals without success and stop believing that anyone can help them. The same need for setting intelligent client expectations is key in all businesses promoting products and services. Of course there are also legal considerations and consequences for people making quite ludicrous claims which is no bad thing!
Ultimately any business, product or service lives or dies on its reputation. Smart business owners pay attention to the feedback they get from their customers and adapt and correct business strategies accordingly. My training company Nick Kemp Training Ltd offers 1 – 1 and group advice for business concerns. A great deal of what I know now is based on personal experience of setting up and running a number of major concerns over the last 35 years and how running trainings in UK, Asia, Europe and USA.