The best small business marketing strategy is to educate your customers

One of the best small business marketing strategies is simply to educate your customers. That really is the key to marketing a small business.

Think of it like this – No matter what the size of company, whether a big or small business, sales can be described as…

The successful fulfilment of a customer’s needs

However it is often the case that the customer is not always aware of what they need and therefore require some form of education. Putting it simply, if they don’t know then they can’t buy. Or thinking about it from the customer’s perspective, you could even say it is a disservice to the customer if you do not make them aware of all the possibilities and opportunities.

So, in simple terms:

The more they know, the more likely they will buy

For me that is the golden rule of small business marketing. Face it, you are not a Coca-cola or Microsoft… you don’t have the marketing millions to throw around or an existing market presence that makes people go “I’ll buy whatever you’ve got!”

So it’s important we stay realistic – We’re not talking big business marketing and strategy, we’re talking small business marketing strategy and that means taking things back to basic principles.

You need to make your prospective customers aware of:

  • What you’ve got
  • Why they want it
  • How they can get it

…and that’s it, that’s the key to small business growth.

First… How to ‘blow it’!

All too often small business owners blow this completely by trying to sell the whole thing in one go. In other words they reduce all of their sales potential to one sales pitch…

…which means it comes down to one opportunity for that much wanted ‘yes’.

And sadly, this often leads to a ‘no’ instead.

Ironically, there are those who kind of know this idea but do not apply it continually. For example, in internet marketing many businesses earn additional income via affiliate promotions where they promote a third-party product for a commission. BUT… they that promotion is a single email to their customer list! In other words, they once again reduce the whole promotion to a ‘one off’ option of yes or no.

I wonder how many sales are being left on the table simply because the internet marketer is rushing to get onto the next promotion …only again to reduce the chance of success to a single shot!

Well, good news, there is another way – I call it the ‘five step marketing strategy’ and when used correctly it is a liquid gold small business marketing strategy which keeps pouring money into your bank account.

Why specifically a five step marketing strategy?

Well, statistics have shown that a sales and marketing strategy or approach which holds five or six steps is 80% more likely to achieve success than one which does not.

For instance, did you realize that a mail-shot campaign is likely to achieve a less than 1% success rate if left without follow-up?

More interestingly, just by adding one extra step of a follow-up phone call to that mail-shot you can get four or fives time the success. Now that’s just with one extra step… so imagine what five steps will do for any small business owner… including you!

The idea is a simple one, instead of presenting your information as one great epic, you offer your prospective customer a mini-series of sales and marketing episodes that gradually build your overall message.

Essentially step one sells step two, step two sells step three, and so on, until the customer buys.

Each step can be a different form of information from a letter to a postcard, email to a phone call, or advert to a meeting. You may even wish to kick-start this small business marketing strategy with a spin on the classic phone-mail-phone beginning, whereby you…

  • Phone the company to confirm the details of the relevant contact such as name (spelling and pronunciation), email or postal address and phone number (think of this as a kind of step zero)
  • Mail a letter or email describing your business and offering (step one)
  • Phone again and discuss the contents of the letter (step two)

You can then follow-up with an email or meeting and in turn progress the sale.

And, by the way, you don’t have to wait to the fifth episode before you close the sale as each episode gives you that opportunity. The key is to make sure the close happens when the customer wants it to happen…

…but hey, you now have five opportunities! If the customer is eager to buy then let them!

And as a quick aside to follow on from my previous example about internet marketing… Yep, it’s as simple as five emails instead of one! And yes, I know that is going to change your promotion calendar if you do a lot of affiliate promotions. But consider this (better still, test it!) – in the long run having five-day campaigns for fewer products may be more lucrative than one-shot-wonders.

This marketing strategy also makes life easier too!

Another useful pointer for the five step marketing strategy is how it is so much easier for your small business to manage. It makes marketing a small business a piece of cake.

By definition, having a small business means you don’t have lots of people running around doing things for you… well, that’s okay because the workload has now been spread across five steps. Add a touch of system and process and you could automate the whole thing.

Better still, rather than having a whole sales pitch fail and being at a loss as to why, with this small business marketing strategy you’ll know exactly what didn’t work.

All you need do is monitor your results for each step. If, for example, step 2 is not converting as well as you would hope, then just change that one step. Easy!

Do this right and you will enjoy explosive small business growth!

Obviously there’s a lot more to discuss, but for the moment just realizing that you can spread your effort and in turn gain greater reward is a major plus for any small business owner who wants to excel with their small business marketing.

Conclusion: It’s about being small

Yes, I’ve laboured the whole small business thing…

…but that’s the point, you ARE a small business!

So drop the big money tactics of throwing money at advertising and hoping people will miraculously notice your small business and inexplicably want to buy what you got.

This is one time where thinking small will make big things happen!

When it comes to your small business marketing strategy, thinking as a small business will ALWAYS get you better results.

So back to basics, think as a small business, build a relationship with your customer, educate them…

…and then you will supply them.

Tell me what you think below… How successful will a small business marketing strategy based on educating the customer be for your business?