My Manager at Xerox used to encourage her team to not only think through, but write down our business strategy in order to land a great sale – “create a business strategy for closing the sale” she would demand. When dealing with multiple copier purchases in different departments you needed to have all the department managers singing not only your praises in particular, but excited about the Xerox product they wanted to have in their department. Er, excuse me, needed to have in their department. If you did your job correctly, your offering was the only solution for that department.
Because as a sales rep it’s your job to find that one thing that is crucial to the running of that department – provide an efficient, low cost solution to the problem with your copier selection and then convince the receptionist, the managers, the department heads, etc. that only this one product from Xerox will meet the needs of the department and save them time and money. It’s a simple business strategy, and it works – so I feel it is worth a mention here. Now, I spend a lot of time talking to my customers about their business strategy.
What do you want your new website to achieve?
Is it that you simply want the people to pick up the phone and call you?
Do you want them to be engaged in your business?
Does your business strategy indicate you just want a simple informative site that gives directions and lists specials?
Is Smart PhoneTechnology in your new Business Strategy?
By really thinking about the direction you want to take with a new changeable website, it really helps you to re-think the direction your entire business is heading. Are you thinking about all the customers that walk into your business with smart phones? Is there a way to capture their attention perhaps with SMS Text Marketing Messages? They could receive a message or a coupon offer and then walk into your business and hold up their phone and say,“hey I got the message that the blue felted headbands have arrived – I’d like to buy two – one for me and one for my friend. Thanks for the message.” People appreciate timely information and will reward you with purchases.
The other area that is important to note is the use of QR codes. These are black and white boxes full of data. When a smartphone takes a picture of this black and white box and it is run through an “app” then it immediately takes the user to information of your choice. You can send them to a customized landing page, your website home page, your specials page, a recipe area, a video on how to use a product, etc. The uses for QR codes are amazing. Look into incorporating a QR code for your customers to scan either directly in your store, on a newsletter, on a print ad or wherever. By sending people right to an exact page, your message is sharper than just a warm and fuzzy – hey come into our store kind of ad. Providing detailed information to consumers helps them become more engaged with your business. All you have to do is ask for the sale and you win.
Put the time into Creating your Business Strategy
Take the time to plan things out. Let’s face it – your business plan is probably 3 years old. A lot has changed in 3 years. Having a new business strategy is not a bad idea. Really think about where you want to position your business. It’s always been my goal to try and be ahead of the curve – use the technologies that are emerging and give the a try with your marketing efforts. Taking a “gee, let’s wait and see” type of approach just means that your competition will get a jump on you and when you enter the market later you are seen as a “copycat” or a “me too” follower. That makes you try and lower your price to grab the customers you should have earned by coming out with the fresh marketing and new business strategy first. Heavy discounting just diminishes the value of your business offering and puts you in the poor house fast. It is not a sound business strategy.
Let’s face it – the business website must be a useful tool that makes the company money, or it is a wasted project. If you just leave everything up to a web person and you do not have a clear direction – your new site will just look like a fresh colored site that just does not move your business forward. They don’t know your business like you do, so spend the time to share your ideas, vision, requirements, etc. and ask your new website designer to assist you in incorporating new technologies into your website design.
Wanna scoff at having a business strategy? Think that the yellow pages are still a viable way to reach your audience? Sure, right, let’s see if you make it six months in this new way of marketing. You don’t adapt – you lose . . . everything. Better think about updating your business strategy – today!