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10 Ways to Make Your Business sexier

How sexy is your business anyway?
It's sexier to be a journalist than someone selling ball bearings for the automotive industry.
It's sexier to be a doctor than being a publisher.
It's undoubtedly much sexier to be a pop star than being a kindergarten teacher.
Some professions are sexier and more exciting than others – that's just the way it is. Certain professions will generate much juicier gossip and more interesting things to talk about over dinner. How sexy is your company? How much fun do your customers think it is to be a customer of your company - or rather, how exciting do you make it for your customers to be customers to your business?

Here are 10 tips on how you can make your business sexier:

1. How often do you keep in touch with your customers?
Do you contact them only when you have orders in the pipeline or do you just send out the old Christmas cards and gifts once a year? Stop that.
Send you customers a pot with some summer flower seeds. This will give them hope and strength to hold on – it'll be summer again soon. You can also have pizzas delivered to customers that you know is very busy at work right now. That will be greatly appreciated. If you have a shop, start a special members club for your customers and send them special offers in the mail. Make them feel as important as they really are to you.

2. What does your stand-in look like?

I mean the business and sales letters that your customers will have to remember you by after you have met. Make the best of the business card, it'll both show who you are as a person and what kind of business your customers have the opportunity to work with. Is the title under your name on the business card more important to you than it is for your customers?
Do you write a standard ”Thank you for your order, which we will devote all due care”-letter or do you have a more personal touch? Personal = sexy. My advice is this: stop playing office and be a human being.

3. Do you clearly show why customers should buy from your company and not from your competitors?
Do you show your competitive advantages? That's good, but not good enough. Any business that has existed for a while has shown their competitive advantage, but what you should do is to show the competitive advantages that only you have. Do you see the difference? It's a huge difference! Competitive advantage is not only related to your product or service, it can also mean that customers know that you take care of them, even between the orders, in a personal way. That you have a newsletter in your line of business or that you submit an article that you think might interest them, etc. The list of things to do that are not directly related to the sale can be very long. Ultimately, it's about treating your customers as well as you treat your best friends.

4. Do you give your customers special discounts/benefits because they are your customers?
Do you have a sale just for your regular customers? Have you started fun competitions for customers? Why not start an annual regular competition in golf/bowling/pentathlon /beer drinking ? Invite customers for a nice evening will teach them to become accustomed to the fact that your company will treat them at a certain date each year. Lay claim to a calendar day that will be your company day. Ultimately, it comes down to securing a place in your customers' hearts – a spot that will become empty if they decide to take their business elsewhere.

5. Give things away for free to anyone
I don't mean that you should give away your products for free, I'm talking about knowledge. You can give away lots of things that others can't. If you have a flower shop, you can give away a little booklet about”10 Tips on how to cut the flowers so they live longer .”If you have a plumbing business you can show your customers on your website how to avoid blockage in the drain or what you can do yourself when an accident in the bathroom or kitchen occurs. Think! You know a lot of stuff that the rest of us also want to know. You can teach us things that we can benefit from. When we need to shop for products, your business will be the one that pops up in our minds because we have a relationship with it.

6. How personal are you in your business?
Do you know that the smile is one of the most underrated marketing tools? An old Chinese proverb says:”He who cannot smile should not open a shop.”Smiles are sexy.

7. What kind of reception are your customers greeted by when they call to your business?
Is it a dull answering voice muttering something or an operator who always says that ”The entire department is in a meeting”? What kind of status does the operator in your company have? As high as your sellers, I hope.

8. Do you co-operate or do you sit in a hole by yourself?
 Do you say ”Good, now we have sold one hundred cartons” or ”Good, now we have helped the customer in solving their biggest problem”? The truth is that if you give your customer what he/she wants most of all, you will also get what you want most.

9. Run a test. Count the number of ”You”,”Your”in your letters to customers.
The words ”You” and ”Your” should always be much more frequent than the words ”We”,”Us” and ”Our”. Don't boast about everything you can do. Don't tell people about how good you are. Instead show people how you can solve their biggest problems - and even better, show how to solve your customer's problems.

10. Do you and your employees enjoy your jobs?
One look and it'll show on your faces and your appearances.
Anyone can rent a bike or get a massage at some point. Everyone can take a day off and go do something they like. Take a day off too and invest in yourself. It will be noticeable to you and to your employees. Put up a basketball hoop in the lunch room or make a subscription to a fashion magazine - this is a good investment.

11. Finally, always give a little more than you promised
If you promise your customers 10 tips on how to make your business sexier, provide them with 11 tips. Give the customer faster delivery than they thought they could get, add a gift in the package and do something that shows that you care about them in a different way than your competitors do.

About the author

Stefan Ekberg has worked in marketing for small business for 20 years and has written around 30 books on how small business owners can market themselves with limited resources. . In 2012 Stefan was nominated as Entrepreneur of the Year in Stockholm.

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Every week some 230,000 prescribers gets his free newsletter about 5 minute marketing.

"The 5 minute marketer" - the book
You run a small business and you want to get ahead of the competition, but how can you give resources to marketing when you're short on time and the budget is tight? The solution is here! The 5-Minute Marketer is packed with 395 tried-and-tested ways to market your business in 5 minutes or less.