Never Forget That Your Customers Have a Choice

People don’t like to be taken for granted, irrespective of whether they are giving freely of their time and resources or whether they are paying for them.  Customers may also leave if they feel they are being taken advantage of by not getting consistent high levels of service and some sort of communication, periodically.

Make a customer feel taken for granted or taken advantage of and just expect his or her business to keep coming your way, and you will lose him or her forever.

Customers have always had choices, but in today’s global markets they have more choices than ever before and a greater willingness to use them.  With so many alternative products, services and suppliers to choose from, and access to what are sometimes significantly cheaper prices, no buyer in his right mind is going to stick with a company that doesn’t offer excellent value for their money and first-class service, no matter how long they might have dealt with a particular supplier in the past.

Many times what happens when companies have been doing business together for years is that the supplier begins to rest on his/her laurels, believing that for the customer to change suppliers would simply be too much hassle and inconvenience. 

That’s just no longer the case. A new supplier who is keen to steal away your business, will go out of their way to ensure that that transition is as smooth and trouble-free as possible and that the customer suffers no inconvenience at all.

A good way to keep clients happy is to setup a system of checks and balances that will help you communicate the value they bring to your business, while making sure you provide them with the best products and services that meet their needs.

Here are just a few ideas that may help you in setting up a client care system:

  • Check client purchases on a quarterly basis to be sure you are maintaining their business
  • Touch base with the client by phone or email quarterly to see how their business is doing and what additional needs they may have
  • Two to three times a year take a moment to send them a greeting card (we use Send Out Cards) or a handwritten thank you card to show them you care about and value their business
  • Several times a year send them a brief survey asking them to tell you about their experiences with you, your level of service and any areas you can improve upon
  • Several times a year pick up the phone and engage them just to let them know you are thinking about them
  • Engage them at least once a month (preferably once a week) with some sort of electronic email or eZine to stay top-of-mind

These are just a few ideas of ways to build a strong relationship with your best customers on a regular basis.  This may seem like a lot, but even if your customers appear to be totally loyal to your organization, never make the mistake of taking them for granted, or taking advantage of them, as there is always someone else who will quite happily come along and show them how much their business is valued.

Jeannine Grich, CVA, MVA, EthicsChecked™, provides marketing and social media support, training and consulting to busy entrepreneurs. For information about finding a VA, download her FREE 10-Step Guide to Finding the Right VA, or to learn why Social Media should be an important part of your marketing plan check out her FREE Report, Social Media Marketing Benefits, visit: https://accbizsvc.com/, or contact her at Jeannine@accbizsvc.com

Ready to find out how to take your business to the next level? Schedule a 30-minute complimentary session to discuss your marketing and website/social media presence, here!

Five Fast and Easy Ways to Create an Opt-in Email Marketing Page

If you use email marketing as a part of your overall Internet marketing strategy, your opt-in page can be your most important asset. In fact, if properly created and marketed, your opt-in page can be your sole means to successfully generate viable leads.  Here are five fast and easy ways you should consider to ensure your opt-in page is effective and successful in generating as many good leads as possible.

#1: Compelling Headlines

Internet users have short attention spans and you have only a few seconds to strike their fancy and make a connection. For this reason, your headline must be strong enough to catch your visitors’ attention and compel them to read more.

#2: Publish a Video

The popularity of videos and the appeal of learning by watching rather than just reading content is all the rage right now and it doesn’t show signs of changing. You can create a video demonstration of your products and services to highlight the benefits to your customers. Place this video near the top of your webpage so that your visitors are encouraged to view it right away, and stay longer on your site, as well as consider checking out more of the information provided there.

#3: Use Bullets to Present Your Content

It’s still a good idea to layout all the features and benefits mentioned in your video in text.  We live in a world where people want immediate and instant access and they want it quickly. Using bullets or lists, and shorter text, helps visitors to quickly scan the content and grab their attention. This area will also serve as a summary of features and benefits that will reinforce this information in your visitors’ minds, making them more likely to search the site for more.

#4: Testimonials

It’s one thing to tell everyone how wonderful and marvelous your products or services are, but something totally different when it’s a testimonial from a happy customer who a prospect might better relate to. Choose testimonials that reaffirm what you are presenting in your bulleted information.  Be certain to include quotes and the reviewer’s name.  In this context you may also include a short profile or their company name so that prospects can identify with them and realize your offerings can benefit them, too.  If you don’t have testimonials, it may be a good idea for you to either request some from current clients or send out free packages to influential people in your niche and request a review.

#5: Keep It Simple (Subscription Form)

If your focus is to use this information for email marketing only, require only the subscriber’s name and email address.  By keeping it simple, more people will opt-in.  However, if the focus is to use the contact information to market to them offline, make sure your offer is something that requires their address, perhaps a CD, or a printed report.  You will also want all those who register through your opt-in page to automatically receive a welcome or thank you email of some sort.  Linking your subscription form to a simple autoresponder will do the trick.

These simple options are proven strategies in putting together an effective opt-in page. Try them on for size and experience how quickly and easily you can generate leads for your business.

Jeannine Grich, CVA, MVA, EthicsChecked™, provides marketing and social media support, training and consulting to busy entrepreneurs. For information about finding a VA, download her FREE 10-Step Guide to Finding the Right VA, or to learn why Social Media should be an important part of your marketing plan check out her FREE Report, Social Media Marketing Benefits, visit: https://accbizsvc.com/, or contact her at Jeannine@accbizsvc.com

Ready to find out how to take your business to the next level? Schedule a 30-minute complimentary session to discuss your marketing and website/social media presence, here!

Four SEO Tips for Your WordPress Blog

WordPress has become the most popular self-hosted blogging platform around, with over ten million different users utilizing the technology as their blog back-end of choice. Offering a huge range of features, customization options, widgets, plug-ins and controls, it is no wonder the platform has achieved such immense popularity amongst bloggers, web developers, and serious Internet professionals.

Marketers are especially fond of WordPress, for a number of reasons. It is easy to customize, giving marketers the power to create text-heavy sales pages, multimedia website intros, and call-to-action service pages on a single platform. Alongside the customization is another powerful marketing aspect, its incredible search engine optimization (SEO) benefits.

As blogging platforms go, WordPress is the reigning champion of SEO. From extended page URLs to pingback links and header tags, these four tips can help you turn your WordPress blog into a powerful SEO resource.

1) Enable comments.

Comments add great things to your website: fresh content, and outbound links. The first is a godsend in the eyes of search engines. While other marketers slave to produce fresh content for their websites manually, a relatively popular WordPress blog can live off the SEO-friendly content produced by the comments it receives.

2) Be visible.

Sometimes the most basic mistakes are also the most devastating. Almost all modern versions of WordPress include a range of visibility options. Users can select to make their blog visible to all, block it from any viewing, or simply block search engines from indexing the content.

Of course, no marketer would want to block their blog from search engines. However, some automated WordPress installers — particularly Fantastico and cPanel installers — block WordPress from search engines by default. To reverse this, simply use your WordPress dashboard to change privacy options back to “visible by anyone”.

3) Use the All-in-One WordPress SEO plug-in.

Simply put, no other WordPress plug-in is as valuable to online marketers as the All-in-One SEO Pack. Offering a buffet of SEO options for marketers, this plug-in allows its users to optimize their post URLs and categories for maximum SEO power, override default meta and title tags, and even highlight potential keywords to target. Simple, quick, and powerful — this plug-in is a must for internet marketers using WordPress.

4) Use keyword-heavy titles.

Keyword density was once thought of as the ultimate measure of a website’s search potential. Marketers would stuff their content with keywords, often until the point where it resembled machine-style nonsense.

Now, most marketers know that keyword density is not the ultimate measure of SEO value. Websites that rank typically do not use keyword-heavy content, but keyword-heavy post titles. Whenever you are writing a blog post, research keywords first to get an idea of what your market is searching for to help make the connection far easier for your reader.

Try these four search engine optimization tips on your WordPress blog and watch your analytics to see how well you’ve done.  What other challenges are you facing with your blog platform?  Leave your comments and/or questions below!

Jeannine Grich, CVA, MVA, EthicsChecked™, provides marketing and social media support, training and consulting to busy entrepreneurs. For information about finding a VA, download her FREE 10-Step Guide to Finding the Right VA, or to learn why Social Media should be an important part of your marketing plan with her FREE Report, Social Media Marketing Benefits, visit: https://accbizsvc.com/, or contact her at Jeannine@accbizsvc.com

Ready to find out how to take your business to the next level? Schedule a 30-minute complimentary session to discuss your marketing and website/social media presence, here!

Using Social Networks to Promote Your Blog

If you’re an avid Internet user and promote your business through a website, you know that enhancing your presence can lead to more traffic and prospective leads.  If you’re up with the times, you probably connect with clients and prospects through an informational blog page. 

The big mistake many bloggers make is not promoting their blog posts.  The purpose of your blog is to share and document your expertise, views, and opinions about the way your products and services solve your client’s problems and challenges.  What good will it do if no one is reading it?

When it comes to promoting blogs, there are many blog owners who decide to let the search engines do the work for them.  Search engines, such as Google, Yahoo, and MSN use special techniques that read the content on your website. That content is then used to rank your website with particular keywords.

This means that if you run a blog on graduating from high school in New York, there is a good chance that your blog will appear in searches done on New York high schools. Although many blogs are successfully ranked in search engines, not all are. That is why I would advise against relying solely on search engines, when it comes to promoting your blog.

Most businesses, including your competitors, have a presence on social media sites.  The community social media creates to connect you with your target market is extremely valuable to your overall success on the Internet.  Since most social networking websites work to connect internet users who have the same goals and common interests, there is a good chance that your online connections will enjoy reading your blog.  But, before they can read your blog, you have to let them know that it exists. 

When it comes to promoting your blog on social networking sites, you have a number of different options. Your first option is to include a link to your blog in your community profile or profile page. This will allow other community members to check out your blog, only if they wish to do so. 

The other way is to inform your online friends of your blog through private messages. Once you join a social networking site and create or join a network of friends, you should easily be able to communicate with them.  Sending your contacts a message with information and a link to your blog tends to be more effective than just placing a link in your profile or on your profile page.

Although most social media platforms are a good way to promote your blog, we suggest you consider, Facebook, a Facebook business page, Twitter, LinkedIn, LinkedIn Groups, and Google+ as the most well respected options for connecting to your target market.  Set up a profile on each platform that includes keywords that your prospects might use if they were in need of your products or services. 

This will help you to attract those people that will benefit the most from what you have to offer.  Be consistent with your blog posts and follow our 80/20 rule.  Eighty percent of your posts should be informational and provide resources while 20% can promote your products and services specifically, even in the form of announcing new products or services or perhaps a monthly special or discount.

People who only post information about doing business together will not attract much interest.  People do not like to be sold to, preferring to getting to know and trust you before they make the decision to buy.  It is much better to let them understand your knowledge and expertise and allow them to come to you when they have a need.

Social media sites are a great marketing tool to gain exposure to your information and resources while building a following and increased traffic to your site.

Jeannine Grich, CVA, MVA, EthicsChecked™, provides marketing and social media support, training and consulting to busy entrepreneurs. For information about finding a VA, download her FREE 10-Step Guide to Finding the Right VA, or to learn why Social Media should be an important part of your marketing plan with her FREE Report, Social Media Marketing Benefits, visit: https://accbizsvc.com/, or contact her at Jeannine@accbizsvc.com

Ready to find out how to take your business to the next level? Schedule a 30-minute complimentary session to discuss your marketing and website/social media presence, here!

Managing Good Client Relations

We purchased new appliances for our kitchen three years ago, with extended warranties.  The refrigerator started freezing over within the first 6-months, so we initially got service directly from the manufacturer.  Eight months later, when the problem returned, we started working with the extended warranty through the point of purchase. 

When we called about the problem for the seventh time two weeks ago, we again asked that we get approved for their ‘no lemon’ policy, which states that if you have the same problem four times, they will replace the unit. The response we got was almost comical.

Now the ‘no lemon’ policy is that you have to have the same exact part replaced three times and on the fourth call the technician can make a determination regarding replacement.  So, the rules have changed.

When the technician came by last week, I told him everything that had transpired, including the two times the technicians indicated it was our fault, huh?

Surprisingly, after taking a look at the unit, and all my backup documentation, the technician said he would be dropping by the next day with paperwork to replace the unit, or to schedule a time next week to come back and replace a number of the main components to try and see what else they could do to rectify the situation.

FINALLY, someone who actually listened to the customer and was willing to provide a solution. He dropped by yesterday with the paperwork to secure the ‘no lemon’ replacement, so we’ll be shopping for a new refrigerator today.   

What I learned is that customer service is not only tied to company policy, but to the specific employee or technician who responds to the call.  They need to be checking more regularly to see how service is being provided to their clientele.

When was the last time you listened in on a conversation between one of your clients and an in-house staffer?  Are you sure that your business principals and systems are being utilized? 

I help clients setup marketing systems, but if the person responsible for the upkeep of the system isn’t consistently implementing it properly, especially in this economy, it can be disastrous to your business. 

Setting up marketing systems is important to your growth and potential profit, make sure that your plan is being consistently implemented so you can track results and tweak as needed to get the biggest return on your investment.

Jeannine Grich, CVA, MVA, EthicsChecked™, provides marketing and social media support, training and consulting to busy entrepreneurs. For information about finding a VA, download her FREE 10-Step Guide to Finding the Right VA, or to learn why Social Media should be an important part of your marketing plan with her FREE Report, Social Media Marketing Benefits, visit: https://accbizsvc.com/, or contact her at Jeannine@accbizsvc.com

Ready to find out how to take your business to the next level? Schedule a 30-minute complimentary session to discuss your marketing and website/social media presence, here!

Five Affordable Ways to Create Video Marketing Content

There are many ways to create video marketing content that will make you stand out without access to a production studio or require spending thousands of dollars. Take a look at some of my five easy, and affordable steps you can take to show your viewers you’re worth their time and money:

1. Create a Video Yourself

This is, of course, the most obvious option. You don’t need professional equipment. You can easily start out with a computer webcam, mobile phone, or any video recorder that you have access to. What matters the most is not the technology you use but your concept and how well you present it to viewers.

2. Outsource Your Video Creation

You may already be familiar with the process of outsourcing other aspects of your business, like web design or writing and editing services. Video creation is no different and is often extremely well produced at very affordable prices. Check into outsourcing portals like IVAA.org or VANetwork.com, post a job listing, and check out the freelancers that contact you. Keep in mind that outsourcing video production will be easier if you already have an idea in mind before you seek support. In your job postings, detail exactly what you need the service provider to do for you and choose the provider that you feel will give you the best results.

3. Utilize User-Generated Content or Testimonials

This one is especially great if your online business already has a loyal following. Simply contact one of your previous clients and tell them that you’d like them to participate in a short video testimonial. You will most likely have more success if you sweeten the deal by offering them a discount on their next purchase, offer to include a link to their website or some other kind of reward. After proposing the idea to several of your past clients or customers, you will not only have excellent video content, but you will have also strengthened your relationship with your existing customers – and that discount or reward could potentially net you a few extra sales as well!

4. Use Public Domain Footage Already Available

There are literally hundreds of video clips in the public domain, and many are readily available for download online. Take a look at a few and use them to create your own video content. Don’t forget that there is plenty of music in the public domain, too. With these public domain assets, you can easily put together your own online video for the purpose of marketing your brand, your products, or your services.

5. Purchase Pre-made or Stock Video Content

Slightly different than outsourcing, there are various marketplaces online where you can find high quality, pre-made video content for sale. You may have experience in buying website templates or graphics, and this is no different. You can buy what you need to create an entire video, or just get the footage you need to add on to your current creation and make it fit your specific need.

These are just a few of the most popular ways to develop low-budget yet effective video marketing content. You can choose one or a combination of all of these options. What matters is, through any of these five ways, you can develop content that is unique to your business without breaking the bank and create video content that will help promote and grow your business.

Jeannine Grich, CVA, MVA, EthicsChecked™, provides marketing and social media support, training and consulting to busy entrepreneurs. For information about finding a VA, download her FREE 10-Step Guide to Finding the Right VA, or to learn why Social Media should be an important part of your marketing plan with her FREE Report, Social Media Marketing Benefits, visit: https://accbizsvc.com/, or contact her at Jeannine@accbizsvc.com

Can You Really Use Articles to Build Your List?

Getting clients and prospects to visit your site can be ranked as high as the importance of the quality and the excellence of the product and the services you provide. They should go hand in hand in providing your customers the satisfaction they get in exchange for the money they have paid for them. Superior customer service should also be a top priority so that customers are provided with a consistent and satisfying experience with your company.

One of the ways you can combine marketing and customer service is through opt-in marketing. With an opt-in list you get the opportunity to introduce your site and products on a regular basis. This is a marketing strategy that is virtually low cost and not very time consuming. Here, you get the consent of your website visitors to subscribe to your electronic newsletters or other promotional materials such as catalogs and free reports (white papers).

Opt-in marketing uses your list of subscribers to send email to them on a regular basis. These e-mails can address a number of things like specials, promotions and the announcement of a new product or service.  However, I believe the best way to do this is to provide fun, entertaining and informational articles.

Well written articles full of content and useful information will help in building your list as more subscribers will be enticed by your offerings, and hungry for more information and resources.

Many sites and companies have realized the importance of articles and their importance in search engine optimization. As more people are heading towards the internet for their informational needs, serving the right information to them via articles on your site will increase the flow of your website traffic.  With more traffic, the percentage of your sales will grow. More sales turn into more profit.

There has been a rise in the importance of well written, information enriched and keyword packed articles for site content as well as for newsletters. These articles provide the information many are seeking. If your site has interesting information, more people will be going to your site to see what information you will provide next.

Well written articles would also help boost your reputation. If the information you provide is of benefit to your target market you will increase your level of expertise in your area of specialization.  Be sure your articles are well researched so that people will trust you. When you have gained their trust, they will always come to you for their needs on that subject.

Be sure you write articles that tackle subjects that are closely connected with your type of business. If you have a site selling products that tackle a certain problem or challenge to your prospects, your articles need to be written on those topics. Most sought out articles are for tips, guidelines, methods, manuals and such. If you provide these articles to your clients and prospects,  and you have their trust, they will always go to your site for help and advice as well as for your products.

With the loyalty of these clients, they may subscribe to your opt-in list to receive all the information you have. If you provide them with the answers for that need, they will be happy to receive your newsletters as well as other promotional materials to keep them well informed. Others may even forward your newsletters to other people when they find a certain article interesting.

You should provide links in your newsletter so that when other people are reading it and want to read more, they may click on the link and go to your site. Well written articles will attract more sign-ups for your opt-in list and make it even bigger.

Make sure to keep your subscribers happy and interested in your newsletters and promotional materials. Keep on posting and writing good articles for your site and newsletter. If you are not interested in writing them or if you just don’t have the time, there are many available well experienced and knowledgeable writers available to help you out including those on our team. This is an investment that will pay for itself in time.

Jeannine Grich, CVA, MVA, EthicsChecked™, provides marketing and social media support, training and consulting to busy entrepreneurs. For information about finding a VA, download her FREE 10-Step Guide to Finding the Right VA, or to learn why Social Media should be an important part of your marketing plan with her FREE Report, Social Media Marketing Benefits, visit: https://accbizsvc.com/, or contact her at Jeannine@accbizsvc.com

Five Areas That Help Expand Your Business Branding Online

Promoting your business branding online is somewhat different from typical marketing strategies. You need to take a unique approach to this method of promoting your business brand. And yet, the benefits of using Web tools in making your brand distinct includes the ability to maximize your business efforts and expanding your business’ reach.

After all, it only makes sense to extend your branding efforts to the Internet given the fact that most people nowadays use the Internet as their source of daily information and research tool before a purchase is made.

There are five (5) major areas that you need to address when developing a strong business brand online.

URL Address

This is a crucial determiner for web browsers. Therefore, you must be able to produce a sense of identity for your website and provide a glimpse into your company even before they get the opportunity to see what your website is really about.  This also helps in your search engine optimization (SEO) efforts.  The search engines will search URLs first to find the targeted keywords people submit when looking for your product or service.

Keywords

Keywords are essential to help search engines connect you to the proper audience. Use keywords that are related to the nature of your website, so that it can be easily detected when people run a search on the Internet. Try to be creative in coming up with keywords to use, especially those queries not directly related but associated to your business.  Be sure to add keywords to all your individual website pages as well as including them in the titles and content of your blog posts.

Website

This is where you get to showcase your company’s vision and your offer of quality products or services. Therefore, you must create a website that speaks for your company and its brand. There are several ways to do that, which includes the content, style, design, and color. You must also incorporate your company logo in the design of the website, to enhance the level of trust and confidence you want potential clients to have about you and your company.  With that in mind, try to refrain from compromising the substance of your website for style. A website is just another form of marketing strategy and its objective is to communicate your company’s message.

Blog

Your blog is basically where you focus on producing quality content. This will help establish your company’s brand and expertise making you the authority when it comes to the products or services you offer. This will also help you to differentiate yourself from your competitors. You can do this by remaining consistent with your vision and highlighting your focus on producing a quality result for your clients.

Social Profiles

There are several social networking sites online such as Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook, among others. When you join any one of these social sites, always include your company culture or brand. This will help visitors to easily remember your company and keep you on top of their list.

Now that you know the five areas that help expand your brand Online, here are several Do’s and Don’ts you may also want to consider:

Business Branding Online Do’s and Dont’s

• Utilizing social network sites that you are interested in is an avenue to promote your brand online and is beneficial to your business. They allow you to make connections and expand the reach of your brand. Connecting with more people on these sites will build traffic to your website and blog.

• Just write useful and quality content on your site. When people begin to realize the importance of your site’s content, it will eventually impact your rankings on the search engines.

• Try to offer good advice or solutions for your target market, but don’t be a spammer since it would basically ruin your business’ reputation.

Business branding online can and will expand your reach and enhance your branding efforts to produce additional growth for your company.

Jeannine Grich, CVA, MVA, EthicsChecked™, provides marketing and social media support, training and consulting to busy entrepreneurs. For information about finding a VA, download her FREE 10-Step Guide to Finding the Right VA, or to learn why Social Media should be an important part of your marketing plan with her FREE Report, Social Media Marketing Benefits, visit: https://accbizsvc.com/, or contact her at Jeannine@accbizsvc.com

Helpful Marketing Tips for Busy Entrepreneurs

Like most business owners, you’re a busy person and at times it’s downright impossible to wear all the hats you need to wear in order to make your business successful. We’re here to make your life simpler and this article is going to offer some tips on areas that are no doubt time consuming for you.

Internet Marketing:

What are you trying to accomplish with your online presence? What do you want to do with your website? The answer here is to drive more traffic, but how? When you have developed your marketing plan and begin implementing it, start with one goal. Maybe it’s to get your phone ringing more; then make your marketing efforts around reaching that goal.

Set goals – Setting goals for your business is important – but how do you know if you’ve reached them? Set goals are only as good as the plan you have in place to measure them. How are you measuring your business goals?

Competition – Know what your competition is doing. Visit their website and online forums. What are others saying about them?

Blogging – If you aren’t blogging yet – start! A blog is a simple and quick way to begin establishing yourself as an expert in your field, driving traffic to your site and increasing your bottom line.

Social Media in Your Business

There is no question that social media has forever changed the business of doing business. It has changed the way we operate on a daily basis and how we deal with clients, customers and prospects.

Social media reminds us that our grandpa’s way of marketing is no longer a viable way to get your business noticed. Today’s consumers no longer fall for (or even want any part of) the “hard sell”, they want to know that the business they are dealing with – big or small – has a human side that they can learn to know, like and trust.

The best way to establish that “know, like and trust” factor is to reach your customers, clients and prospects on their level. Establish your online presence, reach out and be social!

Email Marketing

If you’re doing it the right way, email marketing can allow you to build a list of interested and responsive readers who look forward to getting your email every time.

But email marketing is more than just throwing together an email and sending it out haphazardly. The process, while simple, once on a set schedule, does take a little effort to put together. You will need to first choose a third-party provider that will help you reach your readers on a schedule. You will also need to know the “rules” of email marketing – no profanity, making sure your message is supported by multiple email clients and that your readers have opted in to receive your emails and that you aren’t sending spam.

The most important thing to remember when it comes to these marketing tips and your marketing efforts as a whole, is to be consistent. Marketing is a marathon not a sprint – take your time, do it right and you will come out on top!

Jeannine Grich, CVA, MVA, EthicsChecked™, provides marketing and social media support, training and consulting to busy entrepreneurs. For information about finding a VA, download her FREE 10-Step Guide to Finding the Right VA, or to learn why Social Media should be an important part of your marketing plan with her FREE Report, Social Media Marketing Benefits, visit: https://accbizsvc.com/, or contact her at Jeannine@accbizsvc.com

It’s Time to Stop Selling and Start Building Relationships

For many of us, sales is a four letter word; something that causes us stress and anxiety.  So I say, “stop selling then!”.  Sounds like a good idea, doesn’t it?  So what do I mean?

Instead of trying to close a sale, try to build a relationship and see if that doesn’t allow the client to close the sale for you.  It’s really all about your client, or potential client, not you.  With that in mind, let’s come up with some questions you could ask a client, or prospect that might open a door to using your products or services.

  • Tell me about a recent project you’ve been working on?
  • Is this the type of thing you love to do?
  • Are you getting the results you need and achieving your goals?
  • What’s your biggest challenge right now in moving your business forward?

Remember to keep the conversation flowing, and positive.  You should be doing more listening than speaking, and even if it doesn’t present a problem that you can solve; who do you know who might be able to assist THEM?

If it does present you with an opportunity to solve a problem, you might say something like, ‘would it be beneficial if you had someone to partner with to achieve this goal, or solve this problem?’  If they respond positively, explain the benefits of working with you and how you can produce the results they are looking for.  Then be quiet. 

If they have an interest they’ll ask for more.  Try to continue to offer positive reinforcement for solving the problem and ask what would happen if they did not solve the problem; or how important it would be to get more positive results, etc.  This will help them see the need to get help or support and ‘close the sale’ for themselves.   

This is a great way to let clients and prospects know that you really are interested in them, not in selling to them.  I think we would all agree that we do not like being sold to, so why do it?  The bonus is this takes that four letter word (sale) out of the equation and makes for a more positive and beneficial relationship.  Win-win, I say!  

Jeannine Grich, CVA, MVA, EthicsChecked™, provides marketing and social media support, training and consulting to busy entrepreneurs. For information about finding a VA, download her FREE 10-Step Guide to Finding the Right VA, or to learn why Social Media should be an important part of your marketing plan with her FREE Report, Social Media Marketing Benefits, visit: https://accbizsvc.com/, or contact her at Jeannine@accbizsvc.com