Two ways you can market your business to customers.
When a new or younger business comes into an area or even into existing arena there are two ways you can market your business to customers of existing businesses to them. Two ways, but really only one effective way to yield long term results. Let’s for the purpose of this exercise call these methods the high road and the low road, yep bet you can guess which is going to be the better of the two. So let’s define and explore them further.
The low road approach: In this method the new business will enter the arena or geographical area like a steamroller and try to bully and push the existing competition out of the way. Businesses using this approach tell customers and potential costumers that the existing businesses are inept, out of touch with modern techniques, dinosaurs of a bygone era. They will lie about these existing businesses saying things like, they don’t follow up after they get paid, they are old and slow thus more expensive, and worst of all they will never be able to understand your needs because they are not up to date on modern ways of doing things. Now I’ll be honest with you they will have a modicum of success with these tactics but I will assure you only temporarily and only with a portion of the potential customers. Long time customers know the history and tract record and even more so know their own perceived experiences over time with these businesses.
What the business using these tactics fails to understand is that these competitors are in the space and have remained in the space over the decades because of relationships with prior customers. This point is very important and will become even more evident as we explore the second method.
The High road approach: We I am sure it will come as no surprise that this approach will lend itself to not only a successful entry into a market space but also insure a long and prosperous stay in that space. With this approach the new business recognizes the longevity of the established business within the space and chooses to respect and honor them when talking to customers and potential clients. They will oft times reach out to these established businesses as potential mentors in the space and not so much as a direct threat to their existence. Businesses taking this approach will go out of their way to let the customer know that they in the space and available, explain some unique talents or methods they incorporate, all while never running down the established businesses within the space.
I’m sure you are already seeing the benefit of the high road over the low as a policy for a start up but allow me to share a real life example of a business doing this right.
Just this week our heating system decided to discontinue its normal function of heating our house, IE; it broke. I reached out to a man that graduated high school a year ahead of myself who has been in this type of business for quite some time but is in the process of expanding and rebranding his business and website. I am not sure of the exact details but I think he had a partner in a previous venture within the same space as well as other industry experience but now it is him and his wife. Anyway, he came out to fix my system while I was at work; my dad came over and gave him access to the house on my behalf. Well here is where this story relates to the topic, during their conversation my dad was telling him how he had to have a whole new system installed last year and so did his mother in law earlier this year. Ken the owner of this service business at this point had two directions he could have taken the conversation, the low road or the high road, he chose the high road. He asked who had done the work; once my dad told him the business’ name Ken told my father how much he considered the owner of that business to be a mentor and great man in the industry and community as well as just how lucky my father was he did the work. Now I know this sounds counter intuitive when you’re talking up a potential future customer but let me finish the story. Over the course of the time Ken was working he was explaining things he does in the field and some of the new requirements he sees along with a ton of helpful tips to my dad as a homeowner who is using his type of product. All the while he bragged on the reputation and skills of this other business owner. Now there was no way Ken knew the long history my father had with this other business nor the amount of times he had referred that business to his friends and peers. You see if Ken had chosen to rundown this other business he would have effectively shutdown the conversation cold. However by the way he handled himself in respect of that competitor he truly impressed my father so much to the point he was quoting some of the tips and information Ken was sharing while he told me how things had gone in my absence. Now my father will most likely remain a loyal customer of his man but I feel very comfortable in saying if that business closes or is unable to meet a need he has, Kenmar Komfort will be top of mind and the first call. In addition I feel very comfortable knowing my father that he will retell that experience multiple times over within the next year or two and there by become a walking advertisement for the character and quality Ken brings to his business.
The best business lessons usually are learned and experienced by example and for me and my father that was the case doing business with Ken & Marie Littleton and Kenmar Komfort.
If you have found this insightful and helpful please share with your circle of influence via the social channels. If you have not already please take just a minute and sign up for our mailing list and receive our free resource.