Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Give and then give some more

If you start any relationship interested solely in what you’ll get out of it, you’ll get out of business sooner rather than later. Giving more than you receive in a business relationship creates a high level of confidence and respect by your prospects, and subsequently, your customers. At every turn, seek ways to rise above the prospect’s expectations. It’s the direct route to a happy customer. And once the prospect becomes a customer, do even more. Surprise them. Delight them. Impress them.

Consider what information, advice or service you can offer a prospect—at no charge—that will reinforce your industry expertise. You don’t have to give anything that’s isn’t already free in the strictest sense of the word. You just have to make it more readily available to your prospects and customers. A lot of information on nearly any topic is available on the Internet. But you make it easily available, with attribution, on your letterhead or your own web site. If you do, you'll provide your customers something of value that they will associate with you.

Your prospects will associate you with smarts. If you weren’t already a pretty smart cookie, you wouldn’t be involved in a new company. You wouldn’t be where you are now if you did not have a lot going for you. The prospect probably already assumes that. Sharing a bit of your knowledge, without expecting something in return, will help confirm it.

You, as the expert, can share a little bit of your knowledge, positioning yourself as a leader while easing possible concerns about the newness of your company. Some easy ways to do that include:
· Regular newsletters with articles and tips that avoid blatant self promotion.
· White papers about industry trends that prospects may not be aware of.
· Tips on how to take full advantage of products or services like those you offer. Better yet, offer tips on how to avoid overspending on services that the prospect may not need.
· A free analysis of a prospect’s current processes with no obligation to choose your offering.

You can probably think of several other tactics related to your industry. You know things that the prospect wants to know. Even more likely, you know things they need to know, but don’t realize it and don’t have time to get it.

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