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Steve Marr Blog

Steve Marr's contributions
Aug 05
2019

You--A Key Word

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When working with customers, one way to guide them to decide to purchase your product or service is to incorporate the word, you, into your pitch.  It is a pointed and personal way to help your customer put themselves into the picture.

I was working with a company selling high end backyard hardscapes such as swimming pools, outdoor kitchens and hot tubs. Part of my coaching was to encourage salespersons to incorporate the word you aggressively into their presentations. For example:  Would you like to see your kids, or grandkids, playing in this pool? Do you believe this outdoor kitchen would allow you to entertain in your backyard? Do you see yourself soaking in the hot tub after a hard day at work? 

Jul 29
2019

Create a Mobile Business

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A client who was on the verge of closing an auto repair business came to me for options about restructuring the business. “Sam” operated a small facility employing two other mechanics plus a part-time office administrator. Sam worked most days from 7 am to 9 pm to keep the business afloat.

Jul 26
2019

Should I Treat all Customer the Same?

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We need to give every customer our full attention and respect. However, this doesn’t mean that we should treat all customers equally every day.

When I was in international trade, I had a customer with whom we had a large account.  He would call me between 8:30 and 8:45 for the sole purpose of talking about the Detroit Lions football game, which was frequently a sad conversation.  Since Mondays were typically pretty busy, I really didn’t have time for a 15 to 20-minute chat about the football game. However, because he was one of my best customers; I took time for a social chat that I would not have spent with others, especially on Monday morning.

There are circumstances when we simply may not have a moment to take extra time. Unfortunately, people generally pick up on our lack of interest. When we cut people off quickly, they become irritated because they believe we don’t care what they have to say. They can tell when we’re anxious to get off the phone or rush through a conversation.  It causes friction that we pay for later. When I face time constraints I can’t change, I may explain to the customer that I have a commitment and will call back at another time to thoroughly discuss their concern or request. 

Jul 22
2019

Don’t Allow Others’ Problems to Become Yours

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Frequently, I’m tempted to insert myself into situations which are not my business. While there are ministry circumstances where the Lord leads us to put ourselves into other people’s problems; generally, I belong to the mind-my-own-business club. King Solomon instructed, “Like one who grabs a stray dog by the ears is someone who rushes into a quarrel not their own.” (Proverbs 27:17, NIV)

Jul 18
2019

Free, A Key Marketing Principle

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I happen to like free goods, partly because I’m of Scottish background and I like to be slow to part with the dollar. For example I like going to Costco and I can almost make a free lunch out of the samples offered.  In some instances people are lined up for the free tasty goodie and I have to admit from time to time I’ve actually purchased a new product based on how yummy the sample. The store continues with these offers week after week because the free samples are effective at generating sales at the time and hopefully long-term.

Frequently in marketing we look at the three-tier approach, the shotgun, the rifle shot followed by the scope shot. Frequently a free product is very effective at the wider net of encouraging customers to try your product, and hopefully then graduating into buying paid products. 

Amazon offers free shipping on a wide variety of transactions, including Prime customers and free shipping to all in some circumstances. Amazon’s sales research indicates customers will buy more often and are more likely to return when the shipping is free. I know I hate to pay $20 for product online only to discover that shipping and handling is another $9.95, and typically cancel the transaction. I need to be careful because when I click on an order with free shipping I do have to be careful that I’m not paying more for the product to absorb the shipping but the word free does grab me. Further, according to research by both Amazon and eBay sellers that include free shipping tend to receive higher reviews. One not sure I understand why this would be the case but the research seems valid and therefore we need to pay attention.