The key to learning how to become the obvious choice to do business with is to understand that no matter what you’re selling, whether it’s a product, service, brand, or idea, you are still selling yourself. Convincing people to buy YOU is much more difficult than convincing them to buy something with a price tag attached.
Having a “big name” in business doesn’t mean that people want to do business with you. In fact, most consumers avoid bigger brands simply because they associate them with a lack of personal interest. After all, multi-national corporations doing business all over the world are only interested in dollar signs, right? Some big-name brands may have the lion’s share of their market only because the consumer distaste of doing business with them is easier to overcome than the inconvenience of searching elsewhere for similar offerings. The lesser of two evils, in other words.
Approximately 8 out of 10 American consumers believe that smaller companies place a greater focus on customer service than bigger companies. Rather than being a consumer’s only choice of who to do business with, you should strive to become the obvious choice. This applies whether you are a small company with a specialized market and limited reach, or a global and diversified corporation with customers around the world.
Tips to Help You Become the Obvious Choice
Most important of all in your quest to become the obvious choice to do business with is that you are likable. People do business with people or companies they like, not necessarily companies that offer something at a lower price or with more features and options. Consumer decisions are largely swayed by emotion, which means you have to appeal to the emotions of your target audience through interaction, engagement and relationship-building.
Other things you can do to help you become the obvious choice include the following:
- Love what you do. If you truly enjoy what you’re doing, that happiness and passion will be easily visible to those with whom you interact.
- Understand that your promotional materials and marketing content should focus on the wants and needs of your consumers, not on your own.
- Be self-aware of your own capabilities, accomplishments, and areas in need of improvement.
- Don’t be afraid of bad publicity. It gives you the opportunity to show your current and potential customers how you face challenges and meet them head on instead of sweeping them under the rug.
- Keep your written communications and content free of typographical errors. Simple things like incorrect punctuation or poor grammar give the impression that you won’t care about your customers because you don’t care about the public’s impression of your company.
- Turn big business into small transactions. Make each B2C interaction intimate, special, and unique to show your customers they are valued and appreciated.
- Negate any feelings of consumer risk by increasing corporate transparency. Include information like testimonials to highlight your customer satisfaction rate. Offer “try before you buy” samples or other no-risk opportunities to first-time customers. Give customers the confidence to say “yes” to your offers by showing them you have nothing to hide.
The Importance of Exceptional Customer Service
Providing a positive customer service experience has a significant impact on your bottom line. In fact, it’s one of the most influential aspects of a customer’s transaction with a company. It takes 12 positive customer service experiences to make up for a single unresolved one. 91% of unhappy customers will not willingly do business with you again if they have a poor customer service experience. Almost that same number (86%) will quit doing business with a specific company because of a single bad service experience. Conversely, 90% will provide repeat business if they have a positive customer service experience.
Qualities That Attract Consumers
There are certain qualities in a company that appeal to and attract consumers:
- Keep your word and always do what you say you’re going to.
- Be an expert in your field.
- Maintain ethical business practices.
- Be genuinely interested in your consumers.
- Avoid dishonesty in marketing and in B2C interactions.
- Truly listen to feedback, questions and concerns expressed by your consumers.
- Leave hubris at the door (it’s not about you, it’s about your customers).
- Find common ground with your consumers and nurture it.
- Appear busy and successful, but not too busy to devote time and attention to your customers (if your company looks like it’s on the verge of going out of business or you appear desperate to make sales, people will avoid doing business with you).
- Add convenience to the lives of your consumers (save them time or money, or make things simpler for them to accomplish).
While you can apply all of the qualities above to your way of doing business and draw people to your company in droves, you still have to nurture the B2C relationship and cultivate it. By doing so, you’ll increase your customer referral rate as well as see higher numbers in terms of customer loyalty and repeat customers.
The Importance of Your Brand & Identity
Another way to increase referrals, repeat customers, and your loyalty rating is to maintain consistency with your company’s brand and corporate identity. You want to make an immediate and positive first impression with your potential consumers when they encounter your brand, marketing materials, or your products and services. If you can achieve a positive public perception of your brand and company, consumers will be more inclined to start doing business with you and continue to do so.
Establishing strong relationships with your consumers and nurturing those relationships has never been more important than it is today. The digital age has created a hands-off atmosphere for so many of our day-to-day activities and companies and consumers have become accustomed to the impersonal nature of automated transactions. When your company actively engages in relationship-building and reestablishing more personal connections with your consumers, you set yourself apart from nearly all other businesses and business transactions in today’s marketing mill.
What else? What other qualities are critical to becoming the obvious choice to do business with in your industry and market?