In my recent blog – How to Sell to Retail – Overview of Section 1 – LOOK BIG I gave a brief introduction to the 3-part plan to “looking big”. Having covered part 1, Identity, in my blog last week, this week I’m going to dig a little deeper into part 2, and talk about the importance of your business PRESENCE.
Why you business presence is key (both in the real and virtual worlds!)
Continuing a theme of this section on “look big” – First impressions count! This follows on from your identity and now we need to consider the impact of your business presence in both the real and virtual worlds, exploring:
- What kind of business location you should have
- How to ensure you never mess up an important call
- How to be sure that you have congruent brand identity and narrative online and that you’re taking advantage of the different options available to you to increase your online presence.
Why does a swanky office address or smart call handling service matter?
The fact is we ALL just people on first impressions and we do the same with businesses, if a retail buyer thinks you are a home-based business or lacking in professionalism when it comes to things like call handling then they will have concerns over your professionalism and scalability when it comes to dealing with their custom. It doesn’t cost much to use a virtual or serviced office or a call handling service but if it can make the difference between success and failure then it’s a very sensible investment!
How your website looks and performs is critical too – it needs to be clear, usable, readable and compatible with all browsers as well as mobile devices. Most importantly though it needs to be findable…
Why you needs to be findable in the virtual world…
How being easily you are found online can add to your credibility in the eyes of a retail buyer. When buyers are used to working with bigger brands who are easy to find in search they may give up if they can’t find you. You also need a credible online presence that appropriately represents your brand. So you need to consider:
- Protecting your brand name online through securing domains and social media accounts
- How your website performs compared to your competition
- Your “Findability”; making sure that when a retail buyer goes looking for you they find the content you’d want them to see.
When you focus on your presence it doesn’t matter how a retail buyer comes across your brand, in the physical or online worlds, they’ll get a great first impression that gives them certainty that you’re the kind of professional business they’d be confident to do business with.
Moments of Truth – what you need to remember to give the best possible first impression
“Moments of truth” are those experiences we have with a brand or business that leave us with a lasting impression – no matter how hard a business tried to express it’s identity or deliver impact through it’s presence, the last interaction someone has with a brand is often the one that remains most vivid in their memory.
Below are a list of the key areas to be mindful of when developing your business presence to make sure all of those moments of truth deliver the impression you’d want people to have of your business:
- Business Name – does it sounds credible?
- Business Address – are you based somewhere professional?
- Business Phone – are you using suitable numbers and are calls received professionally?
- Marketing materials – are they quality and are they on-brand and on-message?
- Domain names – do these represent your brand / business name?
- Email addresses – are they connected to your domain?
- Business Website – does this look and perform the way you’d want it to?
- Search marketing – can anyone find you online?
- Business use of Social media – are you sharing the right kind of messages and content?
Use this list and the association questions to analyse how you perform to make sure you are presenting a great first impression and have a clear list of actions to put in place in order to ensure that you look big.
In my next blog we’ll consider the 3rd part of the section on “Look big” – your people, specifically exploring the impression that THEY can give of your business. We’ll also explore some aspects of social media in more detail – namely the importance of the online personal profiles for key individuals in your business.
Thanks for reading this post, and, if you’d like to learn more around the topic you can sign up for 52 FREE weekly tips on selling to retailers via http://www.retailchampion.co.uk/selling-tips/ or you can pre-order my book, “How to Sell to Retail: Secrets of Getting your Product to Market” via http://www.retailchampion.co.uk/selling-to-retailers/ which will be published and available from 3rd February 2013.