Dear Business Owners,
I normally try to be positive here, but I have something I really need to get off my chest. This post is geared towards you, but I hope it resonates with customers, as well.
Whether you are a photographer, run an Etsy shop, a blog, or a network marketing business, this applies to you.
I love supporting other women in business.
Supporting other women makes me so happy. I will frequent the businesses of my friends, family, and even my second-cousin’s friend from high school. I think it’s incredibly important for us to support one another in our ventures.
Really, there are only 2 things I ask of you if you want my business.
1. Have a product or service I need.
I don’t like feeling guilted into a purchase that I don’t need. I’m very careful with my budget, but if it’s a product I’m going to buy anyway, I’ll buy it from you to try it out.
There are very few products I won’t try at least once. Mostly, they’re products that I don’t agree with (weightloss supplements) or products that contain ingredients I won’t touch with a 10 foot pole.
Anything else is fair game.
2. Offer me great customer service.
It’s the first rule of sales and public service. Especially if you are in a crowded market. When there are hundreds of other businesses I can choose from offering similar products, customer service can go a long way in making you stand out.
What does great customer service look like? Depending on your business model, it could be:
- Answering my questions enthusiastically and thoroughly,
- Responding to a problem professionally,
- Shipping my order by the promised date,
- Standing behind your products,
- and going beyond my expectations to provide a good experience.
If you do these things, you’re going to stand out and the word-of mouth advertising will eventually pay off in the form of loyal customers.
I have a huge pet peeve, though.
Unfortunately, I’ve been seeing it a lot lately, which is why I felt that this blog post was necessary. Lately, it seems like the new marketing trend is creating more drama than it’s worth. I see so many small businesses and even MLMs bashing their competitors in hopes that it will make their own business look better.
It actually makes you look defensive and unsure of your own products. If what you are selling is really that great, it should stand apart on its own. You shouldn’t need to bash another product to make it look appealing.
This feeds into a lot of negativity, and quite honestly, can turn an interested customer away from an entire industry!
Tell me how great your products are. Don’t tell me how bad your competitor’s products are.
That’s not the way to run a successful business. And most customers I know won’t go for it long term.
I can tell you for sure that I personally won’t shop with a business that does this. So, if you don’t want to turn away business, consider changing your marketing strategies and just ignoring your competition! Many of your customers will thank you.
Signed, a potential (but very fed up) customer.