An Open Letter to the Small Business Owner

Does it seem like doing business is getting harder? As a small business owner myself, I see it every day. However, it is not because of what you may think. It is not the government or a poor economy. I am sorry to be the one to tell you this but it is most likely YOU!

Customers are harder to come by and are demanding more. More service, more value, more discounts. You can’t continue to operate or market your business the same as you always have when the world is changing so quickly! The world is passing you by and your customers are outgrowing your business and moving on to a savvier competitor.

Are your profit margins shrinking due to pricing pressures? Have you lost control of your business by letting a lack of customers dictate your pricing? That is a vicious tailspin that will wipe out your business faster than you can say “What happened?”.

Again, whose fault is that? Yours of course. This is your wake up call!

Why does it seem harder to get new customers in the door?

Consumers are on the defensive.

They have been sold to for so long they instinctively put up barriers and are almost oblivious to your offers. With the advent of DVR’s it goes without saying that a television commercial is going to be fast forwarded through and still billions are spent on this type of advertising. Consumers have moved on to a more on demand world. They don’t want to be sold to any longer, they want to be informed and entertained at the time and the place of their choosing.

A small business owner is no different, they are also consumers and therein lies one of the biggest problems a business owner must overcome. A closed mind!

Small business owners can be so closed minded that they will continue to market their business the same way over and over to the bitter end - even if they know it is not working as well as it once did and the return on investment is no longer viable.

Let me prove this to you. How many sales calls per day get by your gatekeeper? Not how many messages are given to you, how many calls are forwarded to you? Look, I get it, you don’t always have the time to speak to a salesperson when they call you, and a properly trained gatekeeper can be a great time saver. Your business may not need a new telephone system and a well-trained gatekeeper should know that and politely send them on their way.

What do you do with the messages? Do you normally call them back? If not, you don’t have a gatekeeper you have a first line of defense against new ideas!

Defenses Are Up!

If your business has its defenses up and procedures in place to thwart unwanted sales messages, then as a small business owner how can you overcome those same defensive instincts in your potential customers?

Let’s assume you have a great product or service that you believe your potential customers want, need or even can’t live without. How do you overcome all of the obstacles the consumer puts in front of you?

You have to stop selling them and start having a conversation with them on their terms and at a time of their choosing.
First, without selling you must get their attention, state a known problem or desire, then educate them on how your product or service can easily solve that problem or fulfill that desire.

If you do your marketing this way, not only will you get them to come to you, they will do so willingly, on your terms and at your price.

If your business isn’t growing - maybe it is time for a change.

Open yourself up to new ideas. Take down some of those barriers and talk to people. Return those sales calls.

Remember, they too believe their product or service may be exactly what your business needs. As a business owner you owe it to yourself to listen, educate yourself and then make an informed decision. Yes, they will try to sell you something, but it just may be a product or service that helps you skyrocket your business to new heights.

I personally reject cold calling. It is time consuming and one has to really love rejection to be good at it. That’s not me.

I like spending that time talking with real prospects who call me to discuss online marketing solutions for their small business. I get excited and look forward to the challenge when a small business wants to dominate their local market with online marketing. It is the best part of my job!

If you would like to discuss your small business and how online marketing can help you dominate your local market, give us a call at 404-806-7284 or fill out our contact form to set up a time to talk.