Monthly Archives: August 2012

Trading Places With Your Customers

How do you get customers?
When you have a product intended to serve a particular purpose, and you aim to make it succeed in a particular market, you go to where people are who will be able to use it, who will be interested in using it, who will want it, and will be most likely to buy it.

Then you test it out in the market. You generate a lot of interest and publicity, maybe by giving samples in exchange for feedback, or letting out a fully functional version with certain limits to differentiate it from the paid version.

You let people know you have something that will help them solve a particular problem, something that will improve their lives, make things easier, and fulfill a need of theirs.

How do you keep customers?
You give good service, and supply good products that do exactly what they’re meant to. You deliver on your promise. You go the extra mile.

Who decides if you give good service, or make good products?
You do. And your customers do, too. It’s a collaborative relationship –emphasis on relationship.

There are studies of course. Focus groups, market studies, feedback-for-points, paid surveys,etc. and then there’s also the more direct approach, like follow-ups, and soliciting and getting feedback from your customers.

But when your customers can hie off whenever they spot a better deal, what can you do on your part to keep doing what you want to do and make money running your business?

You put yourself in your customer’s place. Continue reading Trading Places With Your Customers

How Do You Use Location In An Online Business?

One basic law of intention is, if you want something, it’s not enough to want it, you actively have to go for it. You go after it. You work to make it happen. And when you do so in places which provide a hospitable environment for that thing to happen, that’s a law of location.

  • If you’re fishing, you go where the fish are. Even better, you go where there are lots of them, and you use the bait that appeals the most to their taste.
  • If you want good grades, you study in nice, quiet places where you can do your best concentrating. And you don’t bring distractions with you.
  • If you want to have a successful sideline, you grow your little starter venture in an environment where it has a good chance of getting its roots established.(This is the same for solid businesses too.)

If you can’t find the place, you make the place. Many solid enterprises began their lives as garage start-ups and back-yard businesses (or basement incubators and the odd attic-enterprises).

The people who made it work made the effort to arrange their environment towards success. They clean up their act, or clear out a space, they clean up their schedules, they clean out their heads…the prep-list for success is a long one.

But let’s get back to location.

Brick and mortar stores have to have a good location with a lot of people, or their chances of survival go down. For example, foot traffic. Not for nothing do many convenience stores take corners. People pass by at intersections. There’s always foot traffic at corners and busy streets. Plan it right, you can make a living off the stream of people passing by.

And think about all the shelves by the cashier at the grocery stores. Those places are perfect for impulse buys — batteries, candy bars, dental floss, toothbrushes….little things you can just grab and throw in the cart before paying for everything.

Those are physical methods to position merchandise for better sales.

There are also other ways to push merchandise, of course. Consider the ubiquitous offers and tag questions at fast food joints: “Do you want to up-size your drinks?” and the classic “Do you want fries with that?”

See it now? Physically, carefully making the best, most advantageous use of locations brings merchandise to the attention of shoppers, making it easier for them to buy, convenience-wise, without thinking too much.

Attention-wise, sellers and businesses make it easier for the customer to buy by bringing deals, add-ons and freebies to their attention in line with their products. Continue reading How Do You Use Location In An Online Business?