Today’s topic I’m going to talk to you about is really are you the gold standard in your industry? This is Brad Swezey with Just Small Biz Marketing. I really want to talk about this concept of the gold standard, because when we’re doing a marketing plan for our clients, frequently one of the questions we ask, in fact all the time we ask, is who’s the model for your industry? 99 percent of the time what we get is our client’s company.
So now we’re going to reword that, and say if you were not in the picture, who would be your model client for your industry? Because frequently when you say you’re the model or you’re the leader, that shows to us that you probably don’t know your business as well as you should, and you haven’t acknowledged that you have improvements to make to be a better business serving the needs of customers, et cetera.
So I think if you do that, you’re going to find yourself in a better position, and by doing that I mean going out there, pretending your company doesn’t exist, and really taking a look at the people who are fitting into the marketplace and fulfilling needs that consumers or other businesses want that you would help fill. I’m going to use an example of let’s say my business, for example. I do marketing planning consulting.
Now, am I the gold standard in the industry? No, I’m not there yet. I’ve got a relatively new business, I see a lot of marketing consulting firms out there on the larger scale. Big guys, big companies so to speak, who’ve been at it for a while who charge a lot of money, and handle marketing consulting for big companies. I have my own model that I’m trying to approach and make my business work so I can better suit the needs and better fulfill the needs of the small businesses that I’m taking care of.
I’m not ignorant of what I’m doing. I know I’ve got faults and I know what we can do well, and the whole goal is to systematize the business so that we minimize the faults and excel more and more. What I would suggest to you is when you’re looking at your business, is take a cold look at it. Sometimes you might find it’s good to ask people that you know, “Hey, what do you think about this? How do you like this?” et cetera.
A lot of times they’ll say they like it. You won’t get a lot of people criticizing it, so one suggestion is when you propose an idea or something along those lines is say, “Well what would it take for you to love it?” If you’re at a front desk, for example, and somebody checks in to the hotel, or checks out, and you say, “How did you like our service?” They say, “We liked it, it was good.” Or the waiter approaches the diner and says, “How’s your food?” And somebody will say, “It’s good, tastes all right,” et cetera.
Really, the follow-up question should be, “What would it take for you to say you loved it? What would it take for you to say the service was great? What would it take for you to tell everybody else about what we do?” So that’s a way to elicit a little bit more feedback from your customers, and your clients, and really help you improve what you’re doing.
With that data you can then better focus your marketing efforts, better focus other things that you’re doing to really maximize your impact in the marketplace and become that gold standard so to speak. That’s what you want to do, and I forgot who said this, maybe it was the Intel president who said something like, only the paranoid survive, et cetera.
I think if you are the model or the gold standard for your industry, maybe take a look at it and say if I wasn’t already in this business, what would somebody come and look at, and improve upon what we’re doing? If you can do that more often, then that will really help you with your marketing efforts, will help you grow your business, and get from you real feedback from customers and clients so that you can make sure that you can have a continuing relationship that’s going to produce long-term benefits to both you and the client.Business & Finance Articles on Business 2 Community