Tip #1: Unique Selling Proposition
"If you're not unique, you better be cheap."
One of my clients asked for help with marketing her childcare business. I asked her to tell me about her business and she said something like, "oh, you know, basic babysitting while people worked". That didn't sound so unique so we delved a little further. After what seemed like a long time discussing the business, out of nowhere she said, "oh, I'm not sure if it's a big thing, but I do have the cameras that parents can link into to watch their kids during the day." WHAT??!!! Not a big thing??? Wow, as a parent, I'm thinking, "heck ya, that's big!". With everything you see in the news about horrible things happening at daycare, this would definitely be a unique selling point. As a parent, if you tell me you offer this service, I'm immediately interested.
Then there's the real estate broker whose proven selling techniques allowed him a 93% 30-day selling record, even in these tough economic times. He'd never even thought of using that as a selling proposition until we talked. It wasn't long before he realized that even if he had to pay 7% of his clients $2000, he'd still come out ahead with all the extra business he could attract. If you were trying to sell your house, wouldn't you call him?
The point is to spend some time thinking about what your unique selling proposition is. What makes you different? What makes your product or service different? If there is nothing that makes you or your products unique, and you aren't the least costly provider of the product or service, then you better be thinking of some way to differentiate yourself now before you do anything else.
Tip #2: Elevator Pitch
So why do you need this? Have you ever asked somebody what they do and they answer with something like, "I'm a real estate agent"? What kind of impression did that leave? Would the impression have been different if he or she would have said something like "I help frustrated homeowners who are struggling to sell their homes in these financially troubling times to sell their home in 29 days or less... and for top dollar... guaranteed." If you were preparing to sell your home and you heard that pitch, would you not be lining up to ask "How do you do that and where do I sign up?"
The point is to figure out what you're going to say in 10-30 seconds if you're faced with an opportunity to pitch your product or service. If you don't have an elevator speech prepared, you're missing some really golden opportunities for generating some leads.
Tip #3: Business Card
The typical business card contains nothing but contact information and does NOTHING to continue to nurture the interest your elevator speech created. It typically fails to compel a potential customer to follow up with you. Create a business card that extends your sales pitch and drives the person holding it to do something more to learn about you.
Obviously your card still needs to have your contact information on it, but expand the information to list things like social networking sites you belong if they have the potential to generate leads. Consider creating visual demonstrations of your product or service (YouTube makes it sooooo easy to do this now days) and put the link on the front of your card. Use red lettering to highlight a special offer held on the back of your card. "Back of my card?" you ask? Yep, there's two sides for a reason and you've already paid for the front so why not use all of the real estate you can to win potential sales? Either have the back contain a compelling offer or display a link to the offer on your website. Take a look at the two examples below.
I get asked the question all the time, "Chris, what if I sell different things?" The answer is that you should have different business cards. I coach companies on a variety of topics from Lean, Six Sigma, Strategic Planning and Sales and Marketing. If I'm speaking at a Lean conference, I hand out my Lean business cards as that's where the potential interest lies. If I'm talking to a group of folks that are interested in my online marketing program, I give them the card above. It is absolutely okay to have more than one marketing tool and version. My only point is to just be ready with something other than a piece of cardboard with your name and telephone number on it.