You have to understand “business”.

June 16, 2010 at 1:51 pm Leave a comment

Ever since I watched the video on you tube with Jason Fried (37signals) talking about marketing a product or service, it has completely changed the way I see myself (and our team) doing business with our customers. What he is saying in the video can be applied to any business that has something to sell to consumers.

For the last few days, different examples of current successful business have popped-up in my head. The examples are of items that are in demand by the public (or a specific demographic) and what the companies do to market the product.

Case 1.  The new Apple 4G iPhone. – I’m not sure that I’ve actually seen one commercial or print ad about the new device, but as a current iPhone owner myself, you can sure bet that if I had the coin, I would be racing down to the nearest Apple Store or pre-ordering it online.

How can there be such a large demand for a product, without Apple having advertised the hell out of it? – Because current Apple product owners KNOW how wonderful the products are and have faith that whatever new thing Apple invents, it is bound to be something they must have. Same thing happened with the iPad.

If the product works for the consumer, they will consistently come back for more. It must work better than anything else they’ve tried before. They must love it so much that they don’t look to other companies for a replacement.

Lesson learned: Once you’ve established a loyal customer base, they will come back for more. They will seek you out. That is, as long as your item is competitive and has mad usability. Usability can apply to anything, product, service… just make sure whatever it is, it works VERY, VERY WELL. Be it cell phone, vitamins or productivity software. If your a small business consultant, your advice, guidance and recommendations must work far better than anything your customer has tried before. Your system has to be better.

Don’t be in denial. If the product or service is flimsy, then either improve it or stop peddling it. Don’t insult your customer or yourself.

A second part to my thoughts about “understanding business”, is how selling (specifically network marketing) is so flawed sometimes. In Shaklee, which is the network marketing business I am involved in, the training program advises new Distributors to make a list of their friends and family and then go out and “make appointments” to talk about Shaklee products and the business opportunity. This seems all wrong to me, because: 1.) Most people, even family, don’t want to be “sold to” or be confronted or pressured. 2.) It is just bad business. I don’t want anyone to sell me anything in a confrontational way either. It is uncomfortable and awkward, for them and me. The products might be great, but it’s clouded by the approach.

I got involved in Shaklee knowing full well that is a network marketing company. I was aware of the training program for new Distributors to sell and the old-school way of doing things. The reason why I decided to sign up was this; The products are CRAZY GOOD. They make my body feel totally different and I like that. I think other people should take this stuff so that they can have the same results. Basically that’s it. I don’t market the opportunity (to become a Distributor) because if someone wants to do it too, they can ask me how. They have my contact info. I am all about the products. They are fabulous. I can’t get enough of them and they vastly improve my life. I don’t make appointments to sell the products. The products sell themselves.

If you haven’t already, you should watch the video with Jason Fried.

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