Tag Archives: smart phones

F-2-F Marketing

What seems to be a dying art – being face-to-face with someone – is still relevant for marketing your business.  For those of us who enjoy interaction with other people, the trend toward faces down with eyes glued to the small screen is annoying.

Business people texting

Sure, texting and the other tasks you can accomplish on your smart phone seem to increase efficiency and enable us to do more, but does the fascination with being connected all the time detract from reality?  How often do you see people in restaurants on their mobile devices when there’s a live, breathing person seated across from them?

Who is more important than the person you’re with at the moment?

There, we’ve exposed the secret to face-to-face (F-2-F) marketing:  Be in the moment with the person you’re with!

F2F image

If that person is someone you’ve never met before, you should get to know them for a number of reasons:

  • Are they a potential customer?
  • Do they have valuable connections?
  • Are they someone you can trust with your business?
  • Could they refer people to you?
  • Are they a reliable resource?

If the person you’re face-to-face with is someone you already know, how well do you know them?  Do you know what they like to read?  Where they live?  How they earn a living?  What they enjoy doing in their leisure time?  Why they do what they do?

We can learn so much by being open to F-2-F discussions with other people.  It may be awkward at first, but you begin by approaching someone and introducing yourself.  Remember: They may be as bashful as you are when they’re approached.

Ask them their name, and try to remember it.  A technique that we’ve found to work well is to repeat their name several times in the first few minutes of your conversation.

Ask where they work and what they do.  Be genuinely interested in their answers.  Pay attention and avoid distractions, such as looking for someone you’ve been dying to meet.  That’s rude.

Ask why they do what they do, how long they’ve been doing it, and maybe even how they got into doing what they do.  You may discover a rather fascinating story that leads you into a deeper relationship and potential friendship.  You may share a favorite cuisine or vacation destination.

We struck up a conversation with a couple on a flight and showed interest in them going to help their son open a new restaurant on the east coast.  Before the flight was over, they had pulled out the business plan and financial statements for us to look at!

The point of a F-2-F meeting may be to get acquainted, conduct business, close a sale, or to share camaraderie.  Avoid being in a rush as much as you can.  Take the time to enjoy the conversation.  Assume you will learn something new.  Crave knowledge.

If you’re face-to-face with a customer or prospect, concentrate on the individual and what his/her needs seem to be.  If you’re unclear, ask clarifying questions.  Get down to what they want and you’ll enjoy far greater success with higher closing ratios.

In our next blog we’ll cover the topic of Handling Customer Complaints.  Stay tuned.

Practice the 3-foot rule:  If someone is within three feet of you, they should know what you do.  If they’re beyond three feet, get closer.

Brand Your Work – Work Your Brand



Instant Gratification – Pros and Cons

If you’re “in to” instant gratification, you’ll need to scan down to get the pros and cons.  If you’re a bit more patient, read the whole piece.

Business owners, especially those with significant advertising budgets, are scratching their heads in frustration over the generations that seem so intent on instant gratification.  How do you reach someone who wants information, answers, and product “NOW”?

We’ll get to the answer, but let’s look at the pros and cons of this instant gratification mindset.  It’s certainly a concept spawned by technology, so any answer has to incorporate a technological aspect.  We live in an age where a person with a smart phone can look up a business online, get a phone number, and call that number right from their phone in a matter of seconds.

During the Christmas holidays, we were away from home and wanted to have dinner at a chain restaurant.  I looked up the chain online, entered the city, and up popped the restaurant’s phone number.  I tapped on it, called it, and learned they were not accepting reservations, which was fine.  I had relatively quickly ascertained what we wanted to know.  Instant gratification.  I had an answer in less time than it would have taken to look up the restaurant in a phone directory.

Two points here:  One is that phone directories have a limited life span due to these advances in technology, and the other is that if you have a service business such as a restaurant, it is critical that your business be smart-phone enabled, especially if you are on your own and operating independently.

Instant gratification pros:

  1. Quicker decisions can be made;
  2. Choices are focused on using the right key words;
  3. Speed is easily rationalized by fast results;
  4. Demonstrated skill in using electronics and technology; and,
  5. Masses of information digested rapidly.

Instant gratification cons:

  1. Quick decisions can often be rash choices;
  2. Wrong use of key words can cause longer delays in searches;
  3. Deliberation of potential consequences is given short shrift;
  4. Loss of important, personal human communication skills; and,
  5. Too much information can trivialize all of it.

Now let’s look at instant gratification from the perspective of business.

While there are still companies that make calculators, they must realize their future is finite.  Smart phones have calculator applications and so do laptops and other computers.  The stand-alone calculator has become a nuisance because it takes up space somewhere and you have to find it to use it when there’s one on your phone.

In order to reach the consumer market dominated by the need and desire for instant gratification, business advertising must have a technological base including a web site that has relevant content.  It should also be smart phone enabled and embrace any new, emerging techology within a reasonable time frame.

Using social media effectively should also be given serious consideration.  Users may search for your social media sites before deciding to use your services.  Keep in mind that Facebook is less about selling your products than it is about showing your business has a social conscience.  LinkedIn is more business oriented but still has social aspects that involve reciprocity.  If a user endorses you, consider returning the endorsement.  With Google’s other search engine, YouTube, being #2 behind Google, put some videos on a YouTube channel, including testimonials and endorsements.  You also need to use Google, Yahoo, Bing, and other search engines optimally.  Klout, Hulu, and a myriad of other social outlets come online regularly, so you need to be aware of social options and determine their viability for your business.

Understand that one of the most relevant methods to reach those infatuated with instant gratification remains to be word-of-mouth marketing.  Flash mobs are a good example of how a message can go viral quickly.  Word-of-mouth can help you reach a global market for your business, provided you’re ready to handle the potential rapid growth.

It comes back to having strategies for reaching your target audience effectively, so if you need help thinking this through and developing strategies, Brand Irons has people and resources to help.