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Steve Marr Blog

Steve Marr's contributions
Category >> Getting and Keeping Customers
Jan 10
2019

When A Customer Says No

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Kenny Rogers sang the old country song, “The Gambler” with the refrain: 

“You've got to know when to hold 'em,
Know when to fold 'em,
Know when to walk away,
And know when to run.”

In business we need to understand when to stop selling to a prospect. One friend of mine had a slogan that went something like: “When the customer says no, it means they don’t understand.” However, the customer may never understand; and the time you spend trying to convince a poor prospect is time you could be looking for gold elsewhere.


Dec 20
2018

Create Valuable Customer Content

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Frequently we make up nice-looking sales brochures explaining to customers why they should utilize our service or buy our product. In sales we had a name for these sales brochures, we called them marketing collateral because customers usually just tossed them into the circular file.

Dec 17
2018

Understand Your Prospects

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I spend time marketing a damage restoration business to prospects. I visit insurance agents, property managers, apartment building managers as well as managers of assisted living facilities.

If I'm not careful I would make the same pitch to an insurance agent that I make to the assisted living manager. Instead, before I make my initial call; I check out the business online. How long have they been in business? Do they have a special focus? If I am able to identify the owner, can I learn anything about them from LinkedIn or Facebook? When I make my initial inquiry, I check out the office. Are papers scattered?  Is the space disorganized? My approach may be different for a disorganized manager than when I see a clean, well-organized office.

Dec 12
2018

Customers Need Evidence

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Readers of my articles will likely recall that I frequently advise them to lead with benefits and follow with evidence. Frequently, we treat glowing generalities as evidence.  For example:  “We're the best carpet cleaner in town. We do a great job.”  Or we say, “Our customer satisfaction is outstanding,” without backing up the claim with evidence. Customers prefer evidence.

Paul gave us a good example when he wrote, “but test everything that is said. Hold on to what is good.” (1 Thessalonians, 5:21 NLT) Part of my takeaway from this verse is to test what people tell us.  Part of testing is to seek evidence.  Evidence allows us to hold on to what we validate.

Consider the Flex Seal commercial example.  These commercials demonstrate how the product stops all kinds of leaks, including filling holes in the bottom of a boat. The commercial shows how you can plug Flex Seal into a boat leak and drive the boat around the lake. These pictures provide evidence for prospective buyers.

Nov 26
2018

Giving Focused Customer Gifts

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As we prepare to celebrate Christmas, we consider sharing gifts with customers and prospects. The Lord instructs us to give thanks many times in scripture. Our gifts are one way to show thanks. However, we should keep several principles in mind about gift giving.


1. Give gifts that aren’t questionable.

In other words, make sure the gift has no possibility of offending.  Gifts of wine or liquor are in this category.   Also make sure that a concert or theater ticket is for wholesome entertainment.