Face To Face Marketing Tips
By Dean McNamara
Face to face marketing is the cutting edge when it comes to marketing local businesses. Many businesses do not put enough training and emphasis on the points of customer contact. This is where business is built or destroyed. When it comes to marketing there is no better method than face-to-face marketing. The one caveat is that the person doing the marketing has to be "like-able." If you are rude, arrogant, dismissive, or otherwise un-personable then face-to-face marketing is not for you.
We all make judgments on first impressions. If you appear to be friendly, warm, and like-able then we will automatically credit you with trust. And even more importantly we are more likely to be interested in the products you have on offer. The first lesson in marketing is establishing trust with your customer.
The quality of the sales person will make or break any retail company. Hiring a good sales person, and paying them well, will be the single most beneficial marketing strategy for a retail business. It is the person-on-person point of the sale that lets many businesses down. I often see sales staff preoccupied with private conversations, reading behind the counter, on the phone to friends and family, playing games with other staff members, and all the while customers are going unattended.
Retail store sales staff are not the only the only place where face-to-face marketing happens. Any link in your business chain that has people interacting with customers is a marketing opportunity that will affect sales. It may be the delivery truck driver - if the delivery person is cheerful and helpful the store people will be pleased to see them. If the delivery person is a misery, you can bet that sooner or later your clients will take measures to ensure they do not have to deal with him.
Anyone that hires service staff, whether you are plumbing business, an accountancy firm, or a lawn care business you need to always consider two things when hiring staff. Firstly, is this person qualified for the job. Secondly, is this person selling my business in a way that is positive and going to encourage people to tell their friends about the great service they received.
A mistake that many businesses make is in thinking that cutting staff costs is going to increase the bottom line of their business. Every time you lose a staff member you have a train up a new person which will cost you money in the training, cost you money through lost productivity until the new person is up to speed, and most likely cost you money in the mistakes that the new person will make as they train. Keeping staff, and keeping them happy, is a far greater saving than lower wages and high staff turnover.
Keeping good face-to-face marketers (whether they be truck drivers, bin men, accountants, or checkout staff) is even more important. If they aren't working for you they may be working for your opposition, and often a great marketer will take the customers they service with them when they change employers.
The second lesson in local business marketing is once you have found good staff, do everything you can to keep them happy and part of your company. Provide them with incentives to work well. Make sure you keep open communication lines so that they are getting the full support that they need to do their job to the best of their abilities. And pay attention to what they are saying - good staff that are working on the pointy end of your business will often see ways to improve your business that you might not see from a remote office.
Remember marketing is not just what is printed on a newspaper advert, it takes place anytime one of your customers comes into contact with a member of your business.