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Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Enhance Your Business Credibility

Customers have more choices than ever in today's competitive business world. That's why it's so important to do everything possible to stand apart from the competition. One great way to gain a competitive edge is to increase your credibility. Here are a few tips to help you establish and enhance credibility with your prospects and customers:

  • Provide customer testimonials, references, and customer success stories that enable prospects to hear about your company from a relevant point of view.

  • Encourage people to get to know you, especially on your website. Promote what you do, what you sell, and your full business address (not your P.O. box). Include your phone number, fax, email address, and other ways to contact you.

  • Talk about your history. People are always curious how businesses got started. By providing some background you'll not only personalize your customer's experience but also increase your business legitimacy.

  • Popularity sells, so consider providing a list of customers on your website. If you're worried about customer privacy, use a map instead to show customer locations.

  • Use professional photos on your website and marketing materials.

  • Contribute articles to industry publications, or volunteer to speak at industry events. Start a podcast, create a newsletter or blog, or write a column in a local newspaper that offers how-to guides and helpful tips.

  • Portray a professional image by using quality printed marketing materials, forms, letterhead, envelopes, labels, business cards, and more.

  • Create a strong online presence through your website, social media, and online business directories (D&B Credibility Review, MerchantCircle, etc.).

  • Promote any awards, registrations, certifications, or other reputable, prestigious information that will increase your credibility.

  • Create a customer referral program that enables prospects to hear about you from a fellow customer's voice.

  • Become involved with your community. Attend local events, buy from local businesses, and sponsor local fundraisers.

  • Yes, printed literature with testimonials, history, awards and more will build your credibility too, especially on sales calls and at trade shows.

  • Offer a seminar, training class, or webinar to share your knowledge with others.

If you need help creating print materials that will enhance your credibility and professional appearance, give us a call today! 847.882.4020.


Peter "The Printer" Lineal
Founder/CEO
Plum Grove
2160 Stonington Avenue
Hoffman Estates, IL 60169
Ph: 847.882.4020 Ext: 133
www.PlumGrovePrinters.com

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Printing, Marketing & Promotional Products with Powerful Execution.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Sell with sincerity, become a friend

I hate them -- the sales classes that teach salespeople the techniques of friendship and caring without ever telling salespeople that it is a whole lot better and easier to really, sincerely care.

Friends take care of friends. Become a friend -- sincerely.

In a sea filled with competitive businesses, sincerity is a must if you want to get (and keep) customers.
Here are a few tips to help you sell with sincerity:
  • Sincerity is more than just a smile or a firm handshake. It can be heard in your voice, your words, and your actions.

  • Don't read from a script. No one wants to listen to a sales pitch that sounds like a recording. Mix in your personality, passion, and even personal experiences with the product.

  • Ask questions and listen with interest -- be a friend. Show that you really care about what the person is saying (in contrast to simply listening because it is the polite thing to do or because you want to answer objections).

  • Be yourself. Remember that people buy from other people. If they like working with you, they are more likely to remember you and return again.

  • Back off the business mode when using social media sites. Rather, use them for their intended purpose: to be social and build relationships.

  • Remember that sincerity has to last. It doesn't end after the sale. If customers have a problem with a product or service, sincerity is a must to resolve their issue.
George Henry Lewes once said, 
"Insincerity is always weakness; sincerity even in error is strength." 

Sincerity in sales can not only help you build a stronger friendship with your customers, but will also help your business receive honest feedback and suggestions for improvement.

Peter "The Printer" Lineal
Founder/CEO
Plum Grove
2160 Stonington Avenue
Hoffman Estates, IL 60169
Ph: 847.882.4020 Ext: 133
www.PlumGrovePrinters.com
PeterL@PlumGrovePrinters.com 

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Printing, Marketing & Promotional Products with Powerful Execution.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Features Tell, But Benefits Sell

When it comes to marketing, it's often necessary to rethink what you're really selling. For example, rather than selling life insurance, vitamins, or digital cameras, you may really be selling peace of mind, longevity, or treasured memories.

At Plum Grove we know that nobody is really excited to spend money on printing or promotional products. You will see these lines on many of our marketing pieces:

Plum Grove is about what you really want:€¦

  • We grow your sales


  • We save you time


  • We enhance your brand


  • We build your profits


  • Here are a few tips to help you focus less on features and more on the benefits your products and services have to offer:
    • Sell the sizzle, not the steak, by explaining the direct benefits your customers will experience if they choose your products or services. For example, instead of telling a customer that the cell phone they're looking at has 16GB of memory, tell them it can hold XX songs, videos, and photos. By repositioning a product feature as a benefit, you'll show your customers the many positive ways your product features will impact them directly.

    • Highlight benefits when creating a headline for brochures, flyers, or other promotional materials. While features are also important, they're not the hook to get customers interested. For example, instead of writing a headline about a car's six side-impact airbags, focus on the added safety benefits and peace of mind for your customer and their family.

    • If you haven't already, create your own features and benefits sheet. Take a piece of paper and draw a line down the middle. On the left side, write all the features of your product or service you're offering. On the right side, write out the corresponding benefits that go with each feature.

    • If you're having a difficult time thinking in terms of benefits, consider a freelance writer. As an outsider, a freelance writer can separate themselves from your company and look at your products and services from a new perspective. They can also more easily put themselves in the shoes of your customer.

    • You may also consider a customer focus group that will help you identify issues that are important to customers, so you can gain a fresh new insight and perspective.
    Peter "The Printer" Lineal
    Founder/CEO
    Plum Grove
    2160 Stonington Avenue
    Hoffman Estates, IL 60169
    Ph: 847.882.4020 Ext: 133
    www.PlumGrovePrinters.com

    Like Plum Grove Printers Facebook PageFollow Plum Grove Printers TwitterConnect with Plum Grove Printers LinkedInConnect with Plum Grove Printers Google+
    Printing, Marketing & Promotional Products with Powerful Execution.

    Tuesday, February 5, 2013

    Lessons from the Humble Shopping Cart

    I like stories. They motivate us and hit an emotional chord. Here's Mr. Piggly Wiggly's story...

    In 1937, Sylvan Goldman, owner of the Piggly Wiggly supermarket chain, noticed that customers would stop buying more groceries when their arms got too full. He decided the solution would be to create something that would help his customers and, in turn, help him sell more groceries.

    Sylvan and an assistant took a wooden chair, put a basket on it, and added wheels to the bottom to form the first crude shopping cart.

    But the new invention didn't catch on like Mr. Goldman had hoped. Men thought the carts were too feminine, and women said the carts reminded them too much of baby strollers. It seemed like the only folks using them were the elderly.

    Instead of giving up, Mr. Goldman hired some young male and female models to push the new carts around Piggly Wiggly. The greeters would point out the models to the skeptical shoppers and explain the benefits. In a short time, the shopping carts became very popular, which in turn made Mr. Goldman a very wealthy man.

    Here are a few lessons you can apply to your business from this story:
    • Pay close attention to your customers and how they use your products and services.

    • Observe and ask questions.

    • Determine what you can do to make customers' lives better when using your products and services.
    Sometimes an increase in revenues comes from simply helping your clients in small but meaningful ways, like the humble shopping cart.


    Peter "The Printer" Lineal
    Founder/CEO
    Plum Grove
    2160 Stonington Avenue
    Hoffman Estates, IL 60169
    Ph: 847.882.4020 Ext: 133
    www.PlumGrovePrinters.com

    Like Plum Grove Printers Facebook PageFollow Plum Grove Printers TwitterConnect with Plum Grove Printers LinkedInConnect with Plum Grove Printers Google+
    Printing, Marketing & Promotional Products with Powerful Execution.