Archive for WIIFM
So the carbon tax was in the news again yesterday – this time because it’s likely not to be the huge cost (revenue earner) business (government) thought it might be. But the sad truth is that businesses have incurred higher bills for all sorts of things since its introduction – despite warnings and prosecutions from the ACCC regarding price gouging.
And when costs go up almost everyone starts wanting to drop costs. But let’s face it, there are only so many costs you can reasonably trim, before you lose the ability to actually run your business properly. So if you’ve gotten to the end of your cost-cutting rope – what else can you do?
What about increasing your revenue via new business?
Yes, even in tough(ish) times there’s always more new business to be found. Regardless of good times, tough times, GFCs, etc there’s always someone doing well.
But, if there’s so much new business out there, why then, do so many business owners hate ‘doing’ new business?
Business owners hate being rejected
The reason, research tells us, is because most of us fear being rejected. Yep, me too.
And we give up too quickly. Actually the statistics on how quickly sales people and business owners responsible for new business give up are alarming, but I digress.
One of the biggest reasons we’ve all had miserable experiences with new business in the past is because we’ve focussed on the wrong thing – getting our customer to buy what we’re selling; not selling what the customer wants. Yes, it’s a fine distinction, but it’s a really important one.
It’s not that your product or service isn’t the best in the world – it’s just that your customer, isn’t really that interested.
Customers aren’t interest except in themselves and WIIFM
So if they’re not interested in your product or service – what are they interested in? How do you build new business?
That’s easy – your customers are interested in themselves. Your job as a business owner/service provider is to answer their most critical question – “what’s in it for me?” or WIIFM. If you get your answer to that question right, you’ll have no shortage of new business opportunities.
Next blog post we’ll look at how to put the WIIFM principle to work for your business.
If we can help you better address your customer’s WIIFM needs and build your new buisness portfolio, we’d be delighted to help.
I’m just reading through Hubspot’s 2013 marketing predictions. I got to number two – Inbound marketing to business grows enterprise wide and had to write this. This is NOT a prediction. It is something that smart business owners and good marketers have known for an incredibly long time. Let me explain.
According to the prediction – marketing will no longer sustain its own department. Um, yes it will – someone (call it marketing, communications, PR, sales) has to do a lot of the work, ensure that the messaging is correct and consistent and have a plan in place to keep the effort going, which is key to the success of all marketing efforts.
BUT they are right in that good marketing is organisation wide. Ie: it doesn’t matter what the folks in marketing or sales do or how good your website or systems are, if;
- anyone in the service or customer support chain doesn’t care about the customer or is having a bad day or
- the shopfront or office ‘feel’ is off or
- the product or service doesn’t live up to expectation or
- the after service support either doesn’t exist or is painful for the customer (or someone else in the chain if you’re a manufacturer).
If your customer is experiencing either pain or even just a disconnect anywhere in your touchpoint process, very likely there are choppy waters ahead (and there’s a solid prediction for you).
Hubspot say this prediction is being driven by the customer being in control. Nope that’s not right either. The customer shouldn’t control your business (it is after all YOUR business) – BUT they should be at the very heart of all things that you do. And smart marketing people and business owners have known that for a very long time too.
To be fabulously successful (whatever that means to you), your business needs to revolve around WIIFM or the 5 most important words in the English language – What’s in it for me? from your customers’ perspectives – through every step of a customer’s interaction with you (from materials, websites, forms, reception, sales, media stories, product/services, customer service, after-care). If it does, you can pat yourself on the back for apparently ‘being ahead of your time’. If you’ve been doing it for a decade or longer – no doubt you’re running a spectacularly successful business.
It is however, harder to get WIIFM right than it might seem on the surface. Lots of clients have told us that they find it hard to get out of their own way enough to see what dealing with the business is like from a customer perspective. And let’s face it, when you’re writing materials, designing your interior or talking about your wonderful product or service, you want to spending time on your favourite subject – you (and that’s okay by the way – everyone does, but it’s not what your customers/clients need to feel/see/experience).
That’s where an external marketing agency can help – they’ll be able to see things you might not and/or that you might have been willfully blind to in the past. You might also consider going down the path of using a mystery shopper service too (especially if you’re a volume business like travel, tourism, childcare, gyms, retail or healthcare). Both bring different strengths to the table and both can highlight places where you might be losing new sales or losing longer-term customers. And getting and keeping customers makes for stronger businesses.
So if you’re looking for better 2013 marketing predictions for your business or you’d like to answer WIIFM better or your business needs a customer-focussed marketing makeover, we’d be delighted to talk to you. Feel free to get in contact or join us on Facebook, Linkedin or Twitter.
Now BNI* gets a bit of a tough wrap. Yes, it’s a bit old school – some might even say ‘blokey’. Yes, it’s pretty formal and you have to play by their rules. Yes, it requires a serious time commitment. Yes, it costs a bit of cash to join.
Done properly, it can also deliver some very significant benefits to your business.
As business people, and even as consumers, we prefer to do business with people – not brands, businesses, products, etc. And we have to know, like and trust those people in order for us to usually give them our business.
I was a bit grumpy when my old group (called a chapter) closed back in February after only 7 months of membership. I even complained to the founder in the US, Ivan Misner – who to his credit – engaged in some fairly robust conversation about some of the politicking that had gone on in the closing process – as did the Australian Director.
At the time, I felt like I was losing my ‘business family’. A bunch of men and women that I’d been having breakfast with each week for 7 months. They knew me and they were getting to know what my business could do for them. And they’d started to give me referrals to other business people they knew.
It worked. Even after the group was closed down, I still continued to receive referrals to qualified leads (Ie: people who wanted to do business with me, based on the strength of their relationship with the referrer and who were more or less ready to start their projects) from my former group members.
A bit of searching was required to find a new BNI group to call home. Some groups would have been great, but the marketing seat was already occupied and other groups seemed not to ‘fit’ what I was really looking for. Maybe that’s a chic thing, but for me ‘fit’ was critical. How could I do business with people I didn’t warm to, much less had to like and trust?
I also belong to a women’s business club She Business – which is an altogether different kettle of fish. We all joined to get new business, but what we actually got from our She membership was a business education, a bunch of like-minded women – the same ones we see on a regular monthly basis and we partner with each other to hold ourselves accountable for moving ourselves and our businesses forward. In other words, we’ve developed business friends.
That’s not to say that you can’t build a business without joining a BNI group or She Business – absolutely you can and many people do. But, if you want your business building to be a bit easier and maybe even a bit more fun, find yourself a group of like-minded people who meet regularly, commit to getting to know them and be open to what happens. Be patient – the business will come.
* For those of you who’ve never heard of BNI, it’s a business networking club where only one person per profession/trade can join. Most run at breakfast time and you’re pretty much required to go once a week, bring referrals and meet up with at least one other member a week outside the breakfast meeting. Onerous maybe, but it works. My ROI has been spectacular around 20x my paid investment in my first 9 months (and many of those clients have become ongoing clients).
Kristin Austin is a marketing & communication strategist and trainer who’s been doing the marketing ‘do’ for almost 20 years. She loves creating content and campaigns that drive engagement (using WIIFM) and capturing customers for her really lovely clients. She can be found hanging out in social media-land – for her clients’ benefit of course when she’s not working on client campaigns, strategy or writing them content. You can follow her @glitteratichic or connect on LinkedIn. If you’re not on social media and still want to connect - she’s happy to talk marketing and business boosting over coffee.