By: Fm Walsh & Associates  09-12-2011
Keywords: Marketing

“As for worrying about what other people might think – forget it. They aren’t concerned about you. They’re too busy worrying about what you and other people think of them.” — Michael Le Boeuf

I burst out laughing when I read this quote, having just come back from a networking event, where just before walking in the door, I got caught in a downpour and my hair was really bad.  Instead of relaxing and enjoying the event, my hand kept creeping up to ‘fix’ my hair ( a truly hopeless cause) and a good part of my brain activity was preoccupied with what people were thinking of the image I was presenting…….  what a waste of energy and thought!

So next time you find yourself on that treadmill of obsessing about what other people think, remember this quote.  No one is paying all that much attention to you – they’re busy listening to that voice in their own head!

These top three mistakes are:

Then close up shop and go home early!

The retail market is definitely different from what it was 2 years ago.  Consumers have really changed their spending habits and thrift is in – big time!  This has really had an impact on all retailers – big and small.

My column in the latest issue of Make It Business is the inspiring story of Eva de Viveiros, the owner of the Barefoot Contessa boutiques in Vancouver and the tough decisions she had to make to thrive during the recession.  She’s an inspiration to all business folks out there who know they need to change it up but haven’t done it yet.

What is it?  Create success stories about work you have done for past clients that you share with prospects.  Most people underestimate the power of storytelling as a sales tool.   People respond well to testimonials or stories of others who have faced the same problem or challenge.  It’s reassuring to them to know that you’re not the only facing this issue.  And it’s the perfect way for you to showcase the effectiveness of your product or service.

Here’s what you need to do to create a compelling client success story:

  1. Describe what problem the client had that made them approach you – this is the situation part of your story.
  2. Describe the solution you provided to them – how did your service or product solve the problem.  This is where you highlight your expertise (tastefully!).
  3. Describe the outcome – what results did they get from your solution?  Try to make this as numbers-oriented as possible; use percentages or dollar amounts to show how the client was better off after working with you.
  4. If you are using this story on a sales sheet, add a testimonial from the client.

And it goes without saying that these stories need to be true.  Don’t make something up out of thin air.  The power of success stories comes from the fact they highlight your expertise and build your credibility.

There’s a great event coming to Vancouver – The 2010 CRAVE Symposium: an all-day think tank extravaganza for business owners at any level.  Get down and dirty with mentors.  Talk shop with peers.  Your business will never be the same!

When: May 31st, 9:00AM – 5:00PM

Where: Heritage Hall, 3102 Main Street

This is smart marketing.  Not because she gave me something for free, but because she reached out and started building a relationship with me and gave me a chance  to try her product first-hand.  The result?  She’s just created some great word of mouth – the best marketing tool out there.

Not only did I order some stationery for the daughter of a friend of mine, I also told all my friends with kids about it.  Then I blogged about it – you’re reading about her company right now.

Tracy Sullivan is one smart cookie!

Keywords: Marketing

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