Are you ready?
Many entrepreneurs survived through the economic crisis by giving their services away for free. It is a known fact that sales and marketing are the first areas to be eliminated in a down economy, and the idea of purchasing is almost frozen in time. The surviving entrepreneurs were the ones who had enough business coming in or were able to work with accumulated debt.
Now that markets appear to be recovering, those who did survive are ready to get on the bandwagon by re-energizing their previously sleepy business. New ideas and programs are being discussed and implemented.
One such discussion was with “Carolyn” who proposed her new idea to me. Over the past several years she has interviewed authors on her radio show and generously wrote insightful reviews for them. But all of this work was free of charge. Carolyn is now considering requesting a fee for interviewing guest authors along with writing insightful book reviews. She asked my opinion regarding her idea. The one question led to many possibilities.
Two immediate thoughts came to mind. It was advised she consult with colleagues and those who might one day use her service to find how they perceive the intended fee. I then asked if clients-to-be would regard a paid review to be a guarantee of a high rating, and if this could possibly develop into a dilemma on the possibility she weren’t impressed. Should the possibility exist, then rules for engagement need to be thought out long before implementing her service. By spelling out expectations upfront for both parties and clearly stating the same in a contract will protect those involved.
Next, it was suggested to review the website of another company working in a similar space. The company boasts a collaboration of book reviewers. This makes much sense because much time is required to thoughtfully review each book. This too is another idea to be considered as overwhelm may kick in as the service becomes popular.
At this point, power branding for the idea was suggested. Using this term, I refer to taking the one idea and combine with the creation of several complementary ideas to exponentially grow the audience reach. By offering a range of fee-based services, the likelihood of a growing clientele increases dramatically. Additionally, crossover from to the other service begins to take place. Lastly, an entire package incorporating all of the services may be offered at an attractive discounted rate.
Next, a media site was recommended for Carolyn’s review. It provides resources for both authors seeking publicity as well as show hosts. Given Carolyn has an online radio show, this would be an excellent route for her to find additional guests plus further help her authors find publicity.
One of my favorite business development techniques is to offer ideas and resources to other entrepreneurs. At some point should you need assistance, you will know many who are available to extend the favor. Another factor to consider is relationships build over time. Having built your personal brand, at the right moment, they will refer you to your next paying client.
Incorporating these practices will put you on the wave of the Smooth Sale!
Elinor Stutz, CEO of Smooth Sale, (800) 704-1499; just released “INSPIRED Business A New View for Building Business and Communities”. Other titles: “Nice Girls DO Get the Sale: Relationship Building That Gets Results”, and “HIRED! How to Use Sales Techniques to Sell Yourself On Interviews. Elinor was designated as a “Top 25 Sales Influencer for 2012.”