I treated myself to a massage recently thanks to a gift card my husband bought me for Mother’s Day. It was the perfect way to relax and de-stress – until it was time to check out, that is.
The employee recited a spiel about becoming a member, the cost and what I would receive. I listened thoughtfully, asked a few questions and told her I would consider it. In other words, I gave her a “maybe” instead of a “definitely.” Apparently consider is no longer an option. I needed to make a decision RIGHT THEN.
It was as if a large, flashing red light went off over my head. Her manager, who had been standing within earshot, moved closer and listened to our interaction. First, she started by telling me they would waive the enrollment fee – but I needed to sign up NOW.
Pushy marketing and sales pitches such as this turn me off. I politely told her I would need to think about it.
Her manager then took over, told me I would not be billed for 30 days, that I could cancel if I got home and decided against it and sweetened the deal with a discount.
What was I to do? I signed the membership agreement and got out of there as fast as I could.
I’m sure the manager and employee viewed this as a win. In reality, my stomach was growling and their one-after-the-other “but wait, there’s more” marketing tactics were wearing on me. I wanted to leave. The easiest way I saw was to surrender. (I have since cancelled my membership, by the way).
Tip: Make your marketing less about your business and more about your customers
As a general rule of thumb, when I meet with prospective clients, I first listen to what they need. Once I have a better understanding of what it is that they seek, I outline ways I can help. I find this to be more effective than trying to sell them on why my services are needed or why they should do A instead of B.
Tip: Keep customers happy and your client base will multiply naturally
I get it. Attracting, acquiring and retaining customers can be hard. Equally hard has to be a constant churn rate because customers are bullied into buying your offerings.
There will always be customers who cancel your services or stop buying your product for various reasons. For the most part though, if you provide the best service you can, your customers will not only be happy, they will tell their friends, colleagues and anyone else who might be in need of your services.
Make no mistake, word-of-mouth is the most powerful marketing out there. It’s how I built and continue to grow my business.
The lesson here as I see it, is that the people you do business with should want to patronize your company’s products or services. No amount of pushiness, even under the guise of a relaxing monthly massage, will trump a customer’s feeling that they are just another sale.
Share what marketing and sales techniques work in your business. For more information on Katalinas Communications services, email Theresa@KatalinasCommunications.com.