WOLFBITES - Issue 24
First aid for sickly business to business introductions– or how to sell more by learning how to promote or advertise a business
You are about to introduce yourself – and your company – to a key prospect. What you say next depends on how much you know about how to advertise or market a business.
As a member of Business without Borders, a subgroup of Global Connections, a LinkedIn Group, I have been given an ideal opportunity to do something that would otherwise be difficult: assess how companies across Canada and around the world introduce their services and products, a key element of any business to business advertising program.
Over the last few months, I have probably looked at over 100 introductions and I have to say I am amazed by the similarities.
Almost every company representative follows the same business to business advertising formula and regrettably it is not a blueprint for how to market a business.
The problem is that the introductions are all about the company when the reader has little or no interest in the company. What they want to know is how they can benefit by using the company's products or services. Big difference.
Here are some quick tips on how to promote a small business. They will help you fix even the mostly sickly company introduction and can also be applied to other advertising and marketing programs.
- The most effective way to advertise a small business is by focusing on the customer benefits delivered by your product or service, not the features of your product or service. Example: don't tell me you make high quality car brakes. Tell me that I will stop faster (and in the process remind me that stopping faster could save my life). I will pay a lot for that.
- Try to ban the words "we" and "our" or at the very least limit the use of those words in your company introduction (and all other marketing communications) as they are a sure sign that you are company focused, not customer focused.
Instead, use the word "you". So don't give me this kind of sentence: We strive to train our employees on the importance of customer service. And instead give me this sentence: You can expect nothing less than the best customer service in the business.
- Ban the phrase "We specialize in...". The customer does not care what you "specialize in". They care about saving money, saving time, improving productivity, etc. Do you think Apple would sell billions of dollars of iphones if their pitch was this: We specialize in making phones employing our patented technologies and unique methodologies.
- After you write your new introduction, apply this test: have I communicated what makes our offering different and better than what the competition offers? If your business to business marketing and advertising looks and sounds exactly like the competition, only one thing is going to matter: price.
- Show. Don't tell. Instead of claiming performance, demonstrate performance. So don't tell me your are the best consulting company in your business. Tell me the clients of your business generate XX% higher profits than the industry average. Then the phone will ring.
Happy writing. Feel free to contact me online or by phone (905-940-6610) if you would like a free evaluation of your company introduction. I'm interested in hearing from anyone who does small business marketing, B to B (or BtoB) marketing, B to C (or BtoC) advertising or internet business marketing.
I will provide some specific feedback and a grading: three stars for a great introduction, two stars for an average introduction, one star for a poor introduction, and X for time to rewrite your company introduction.
Read Wolfgang's latest marketing blog.
|Wolfgang Franke is President & Creative Director of Words at Work Advertising & Marketing, a full service communications company established in 1988. Our growing list of valued clients are found throughout our local market, Markham and the Greater Toronto area, across Canada in cities such as London, Ontario, and Edmonton, Alberta, and an expanding list of international locations ranging from The Big Apple in New York to Kanturk, Ireland.|
Mini WolfBites 6
Ignorance about the role – and value – of a tag line is the most common reason why so many tag lines are hopelessly bad.
A few years back, the good folks who market Las Vegas thought they could expand their market by transforming the world's sin capital into a family friendly attraction. This all-things-to-all-people was a complete disaster and Las Vegas returned to its roots with marketing perfectly summed up by this tag line: what happens in Las Vegas stays in Las Vegas.