How to Beat Bigger Competitors: Do One Thing Really, Really Well

 DO ONE THING WELLWhy is it best to do one thing really, really well? The more you do something, the better you get at it. You’ll be able to solve the problem better than it’s been solved in the past and please more people with your solutions. You’ll discover tricks you’d never imagine that help you create and deliver a better “thing”. Focus on the customer and all else will follow.

Inject your passion into your business. You can’t make it to the World Series if you don’t love baseball, and your company can’t become a force in your industry if you don’t love it. Once the novelty of entrepreneurship fades, you’ll need to infuse your business with your passions in order to keep you striving to win.

Build your entire offer around your product or service. This will give you a focused niche reputation, fewer management issues, less customer confusion, fewer capital costs, and the opportunity to be the best at the one thing that matters in building a viable and sustainable business.

So ask yourself: What do I enjoy? What do I do purely because I love it? Whether your “gold medal” is a specific growth rate or an award-winning company culture, any business will benefit from a leader who trains to win with focus and passion.

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Business Development

How to Compete With a Bigger Brand Name Competitor

Case Study: How an independent coffeehouse competes with Starbucks

starbucks-storeBackground: Australian cafe owner’s story
Starbucks tried to penetrate the Australian cafe market by opening 84 stores, only to close 61 of them because they could not compete with the small independent stores. 95 percent of the cafes and coffee shops in Australia are independently owned, with big chains like Starbucks making up the remaining 5 percent.

Interestingly, Starbucks’ first store in Australia opened just one block away from my own cafe in Sydney, so I got first hand feedback from my customers on Starbucks’ potential threat. The concern I had before they opened dissipated within a week. I concluded very quickly that Starbucks was good for tourists and those folk looking for brand association, but their appeal to the quality-espresso-seeking locals was limited to just one curious trial.

Here is how the small independent Australian cafes and coffee shops countered the invasion of the global giant Starbucks and won.

1. Be the best at one thing
Offer the espresso-coffee-brew method only. Build your entire offer around espresso and forget about all other coffee-brew methods that Starbucks offers. This gives you a focused niche reputation, fewer management issues, less serving-space clutter, less customer confusion, fewer capital costs, and the opportunity to be the best at the one thing that matters in building a viable and sustainable coffee business … fine espresso coffee. Continue reading

How Sales Start Before Your Salesperson calls

Cold-Call-TipsWhen a salesperson cold calls they usually get this response: I don’t know you, I don’t know your company, I don’t know your product, I don’t know what your company stands for, I don’t know your customers or your record and I don’t know your reputation.

Internet marketing enables you to engage customer prospects on their terms and when you do you increase your businesses visibility, awareness and trust within your industry.

Introduce yourself proactively by sending informative emails about your industry.

Engage in conversations on social media sites with followers that are related (or unrelated) to your brand. Your enthusiasm will keep the conversation going and followers coming back to your site.

People want to do business with those they like and trust. While selling your products, you are also selling yourself. When customers sincerely feel you care about what they want and need, they will feel secure about making the right decision in buying from you.

Companies and their leaders need to humanize their brands by building relationships within their communities in order to make the brand more relatable.

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Business Development

Inbound Marketing vs. Outbound Marketing – It’s All Good

Thanks to the Internet, marketing has evolved over the years. Marketers no longer rely on expensive billboards and TV spots. Everyone knows that calling a prospect ‘cold’ is very difficult, because so many companies have automated phone answering making it extremely hard to get an actual person on the phone. Whether you reach out to anyone within earshot and or only call people who were referred to you, you have to begin the conversation some time. That first call is pretty darn ‘cold’ no matter how delightfully bad-ass your pitch might be.

It’s all-important how you incorporate the two disciplines. Inbound marketing is definitely critical in today’s overwhelming informational environments. But inbound marketing doesn’t work as well without outbound marketing. To grow your business, you have to reach out to people you don’t know and who don’t know you. If they are not interested in your content, then you have to try something else. Welcome to reality.

Warm up prospects by being extremely active with social media. The most reliable approach to finding new customers is to warm up the prospect before you cold call with valuable information about your products and services and by creating interest in what you are selling. Social media and email marketing are winning because they costs a lot less than traditional marketing.

Combine inbound and outbound marketing for better results. The fact is that outbound prospecting still offers results is contrary to many who claim inbound is all one needs. Our preference is a combination of outbound, inbound and referral selling. If a prospect is familiar with your products and services they will be more likely to take your call.

Some suggest that no one likes salespeople, and that even salespeople don’t like being salespeople. They may suggest things like changing your title to disguise that fact that you’re in sales. They often insist that you abandon your outbound efforts and find your way to the promised land that is inbound marketing. In their mind, the ideas are mutually exclusive: you are either an old-school salesperson or you are enlightened, social-media wielding, and non-salesperson.

The big truth is that a balance of inbound and outbound marketing is king.

David Schwartz
SOS Business Development