This past year has been the toughest on most small businesses. With massive layoffs, real estate foreclosures, and the bank bailouts, it’s no wonder that many small businesses were unable to survive.
2009 was a rough year for me, too. I have a small boutique Public Relations (PR) firm, and PR was first thing that most businesses cut out. But, when I read ROAR! Get Heard In The Sales And Marketing Jungle by Kevin Daum with Daniel A. Turner, I became more motivated and realized that I could have done things differently to stand out from the crowd.
ROAR! is about two men: Ryan Miller, who is the Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Wolfson Furniture and Lenny Bernstein, Founder and CEO of Golden Box Packaging. Ryan and Lenny were old time friends and recently met again at Penn Station. Surprised that Lenny became a Hasidic Jew, Ryan told Lenny that his business was hit hard with the economy and Lenny claimed that his sales were better than ever. Ryan wanted to know Lenny’s secret so over the next few weeks, Lenny explained.
The first lesson Ryan learned was to implement a Value Proposition. He was impressed that everyone at Lenny’s box company had the same story about what they did. No matter if he asked the sales person or the janitor, everyone had the same answer. My takeaway was to get everyone telling the same story. The more the story is told the more believable it becomes.
The other lessons that Ryan learns are about buyers of services. For example, Lenny tells him that there are four types of buyers and each buyer needs to be sold to differently. The four buyers are:
The Wise Buyer – someone who does his/her homework before making a purchase
The Cynical Buyer – someone who trusts no one and is sarcastic and stubborn
The Simple Buyer – someone who knows exactly what he/she wants
The Buyer Unwilling to Ask (which usually converts to one of the three above) – someone who doesn’t seem to be paying attention to you.