What I love about small businesses is their passion and energy. They’ll chat animatedly about their business and their plans. But for too many small business owners their passion and their commitment to delivering fantastic customer service does not make it through to their marketing. They slide into serious underselling without even realising it. So, before you embark on your export plans in earnest, I want you to stop and take notice of what I am sharing here. Because if you are guilty of serious underselling the likelihood is that you will bring this flaw into exporting. The net result is that you are unlikely to succeed. You might just get away with serious underselling in the UK because you have a swell of customers who know, like and trust you and recommend you, but when you are entering a new country with no back story, you are to a large extent, starting from scratch. So, you can’t afford to either consciously (or sub consciously) put marketing on the back burner.
Here are the tell-tale signs of a business guilty of serious underselling:
Here’s how you can cure yourself of serious underselling
This is what customers are looking for from you…
It’s time to take a benefit stock take of your business – simply writing down all the benefits you offer using the pointers above and those below to guide you.
Skills, qualifications, experience
Pro customer service culture and training in your business
Extras you deliver at little or no charge
Your availability and your speed of response
Your adaptability – how you flex and change to meet customers’ needs
What this all adds up to for customers – the experience they get.
Now use this content to inspire all your communications – website, leaflets, email promotions, reminders to live and lapsed customers, webinars, pod casts and how you communicate on the phone – basically everything! Every time a customer, a prospect or a lapsed customer connects with your business, the magic must happen. It is not enough to claim that when you speak to a person you give it your all. This must happen everywhere.
Then, when you are ready to export, you have a proven marketing communications’ toolkit that can be adapted to mould to the country you are exporting to and the buying culture; one that you know works. Because customers are the same the world over. We might have to tailor and adapt but the fundamentals remain the same.