Your Sense of Purpose

Jeanne Buysee - American Family Insurance

A key element of every successful business is a sense of purpose—the quality of having intent, resolve or ambition which results in great value or significance. If you ask any business owner, they would agree that they have this quality, but having it and making it fundamental and profitable depends on how the business is presented to the intended customers. Marketing, simply stated, is: identify customer, satisfy customer, keep customer.

The majority of all goods and services possess some tangible and intangible qualities. Tangible products can be seen, touched, tasted or tried before purchase, as in vehicle test drives or food tasting promotions. Intangible products, such as insurance or consulting, are mostly found in the service industry, and can rarely be tried or tested before purchase. The basics for marketing tangible and intangible products are the same—convincing customers to buy—but when the product is intangible, special problems arise in keeping customers.

Keeping customers is easier with tangible items because they understand what they bought and will often repeat that purchase many times. When the product is an intangible service, it seems the sale is never complete because consumers have to be reassured that the service they’ve paid for is guaranteed. For this reason, it is important to continually market to existing customers to develop loyalty.

Are you spending time marketing your product but not selling as much as you would like? Customers have needs, and there are steps they go through that persuade them to buy. Understanding why customers are reluctant to buy a product or service is the foundation of successful marketing. They need to know the product, its benefits and perceived value, and how it meets their needs before they will buy it.

The marketing of services requires enhancing customer relationships in addition to attracting and maintaining them. Customizing the relationship to the individual customer encourages loyalty, builds trust and becomes a dependable marketing tool.

There are many ways to market your product or service—mailings, promotions, the Internet, etc. Concentrate on doing those things that you individually feel comfortable doing, and be consistent with what you do. Social media might not be the best way to sell something, but it is an excellent way to answer questions and build prospective relationships. Your sense of purpose will always be with you as long as you remember it is all about the customer! iBi

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