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You’re not in business to sell products or services. You’re in business to solve your customers’ problems or improve their lives in some fashion. And if you can do this in such a way that it takes your customers’ experience from “okay” to “wow,” you’ll end up with very loyal customers who will happily recommend your company to their friends and associates as well.



KNOCK THEIR SOCKS OFF


Much of marketing is about differentiation. You need to differentiate yourself from your competitors as well as from all of the other choices that your potential clients have (including the “do nothing” option). One way to do this is to expand your focus beyond your product or service, taking a close look at the entire brand experience that you present.

How can you take your brand experience from “okay” to “wow!”? Here are a few ideas:

  • Remember Your Customers’ Names – This might seem basic, but it really makes a huge difference. And if your business is primarily conducted over the telephone, learn to recognize their voices (or use caller ID!) when they call.

  • Use the News – Scan the news, watching for articles that would be of interest to your clients. Pop these in the mail with a handwritten note, possibly even highlighting the portion of the article to which you want to call attention.

  • Do the Unexpected – Bring in lunch for the whole staff at an important client’s office. Talk an existing or potential client out of a purchase, if you feel the purchase wouldn’t be in their best interest (I do this all the time). Add a “joke or inspirational message of the day” to your email signature block. Send postcards in honor of wacky holidays.

  • Be Fun to Deal With – Smile. Joke around. Don’t take yourself or your business too seriously. Be a dependable source of positive energy, a “ray of sunshine” that clients look forward to calling or visiting.

Disney’s hotel housekeepers sometimes tuck guests’ dolls into bed, creating a “magical” moment when the families return. Online shoe retailer Zappos eliminates buying risk by providing free shipping for both purchases and returns. What can you do to knock your customers’ socks off?



CUSTOMER SPOTLIGHT: CHEBEL MINA

Because he truly goes above and beyond what is expected, Senior Loan Consultant Chebel Mina is known for knocking the socks off his clients. Others in the mortgage industry simply take down a caller’s information and provide a quote. Chebel insists on sitting down with the prospective customer face-to-face, analyzing their entire financial picture, and creating a detailed financial pro forma for them. Why? Because Chebel will not recommend a mortgage (or submit it for underwriting) until he has determined that it makes financial sense for the client. Once he submits it, though, you can be confident it will be approved – his perfect track record speaks for itself! Click here to see the tri-fold brochure which I wrote for him.



What Others Are Saying

"Each time I work with Linda, I am reminded just how well she understands marketing. Linda understands the principles of marketing on a psychological level. She sees the bigger picture. She is pragmatic, insightful and incredibly fast."

Kristine Putt,
Owner and Brand Identity Designer, Paragon Moon