Are You the Biggest Difference?
Are you the biggest difference for your business?
Many years ago, a motivational speaker told me that the surest way to financial success was to find something that I absolutely love doing and then find a way to get paid for doing it.
This is probably the best advice that I have ever received, and advice that I continue to pass on to others.
When you are passionate about what you do, it comes across to your visitors. When you truly believe in the product or service that you provide, people can sense this, and feel more confident about doing business with you. When you are passionate — and good — your customers become your advocates turning their experiences into powerful word-of-mouth advertising.
This is something we try to get across in our Successful Website Marketing class. Part of this training process involves an interactive assignment in which I ask the students a few simple questions.
- Tell me about your business.
- How did you happen to choose your specific business?
- Are you passionate about your business? Why?
- What do you feel makes your business different from others?
I also ask that they (the students) write from their hearts and not concern themselves with spelling or grammar. I want them to just talk to me as if we were sitting together having a conversation. Many times the key to their personal quest for success can be found within their writing. This process also makes it easier for students to learn how to write in a way that speaks directly to their site visitors.
Although our classes have grown to more than 1,200 students, I still continue to read every response and watch for any changes as their businesses grow. This session, one response in particular caught my attention. With the full permission of the student, I would like to share this response with you.
“Well Hello and welcome Cricket! Sorry I missed our original appointment. As you can see it’s a ‘zoo’ here lately! Do come in and be to home. Don’t mind the 110# Shepherd barking at you, or the Cocker begging for a cookie.” <Shoo’s cat & rooster off porch> “Here, sit down at the kitchen table, OOPS, let me clear a spot.” <embarrassed grin> “Can I offer you something? Coffee, beer, water?” <sets glass down> “Now. . . . Where were we? OH YES! Of course, you asked about my web/home based business. Well I make and sell (or try to sell) Homemade Scented Soy Wax Tart Melts, and Air Fresheners. I have done a couple of booths at the local parade and for the PTO, but so far I haven’t broken into the black. *sigh* But as you can see <waves hand to show every counter/table covered with supplies and work in progress> I try hard. Here. . . . smell this one. It’s Cotton Candy. Good huh? <SQUAWK!> LOL…That’s Tango my parrot, just ignore her, she is jealous”
“Excuse me?” Oh, you asked how did I get into this? “Well, let me get you a refill, this might take awhile” <yells at kitten, “MAJICK GET DOWN!”> “Sorry, she is young yet, just put her off the back of your neck and on the floor. Need a Band-Aid? Sorry. Anyhoo . . . you see, soon after our son Tommy (that’s his pic above TV) died from cancer, I returned to a couple of my old jobs. 1 as a cook in a church camp, then lunch/dinner as a waitress/cook/barmaid. I worked just till Colleen was born. HUH? Oh, she is in her room, she is a bit shy. I tried a couple years ago to return to work, but for 2 years, the childcare WHEN I could find quality care, made more that I did! Plus Colleen wasn’t happy, neither was my hubby Tom, and if you can believe it the house was messier than it is now and my laying hens HATE Tom. I own or co-own a number of Yahoo Groups, My favorite being Hummingbird Lovers Club, & a parenting group. Sad to say, I lost my parenting co-mod to cancer, she was 34 and had two small kids, but I digress . . . 1 of my ‘moms’ asked if anyone would like to try her tarts. So I bought a couple from her, and when I got them I LOVED them. I love candles anyway as you can see. To make a long story short <a bit late for that eh?> I researched candle/tart making and studied it all. Then I bought some supplies. I slapped up a website and gave baskets of product to friends for Christmas. I also left a basket of samples at the local bar and lots of folks bought from me there. So here I am, trying to market my product mainly on the web. I haven’t driven since my son died <pts> and that makes it hard to market in the real world.”
“To answer your question, YES, I love making tarts and if I ever get out of the red, I hope to get more supplies and move into candles, esp. in jars, as I like those myself. Colleen my dd . . . COLLEEN! Come here please! Colleen meet Cricket. Colleen here, helps me as well. When I make a new scent, she helps me choose a color or shade. Like the cotton candy. 1st batch I made pink. Colleen thought it should have been blue . . . lol! So now I make pink, blue, purple and yellow in that scent. She even crumbled the black wax to make chips for my chocolate chip scent. She helped me fold and bag up vouchers and candy to attach to my business cards for MomPacks. Excuse me . . . what Colleen? <Colleen whispers> Yes, you can go in the pool. Where was I? Oh and my DH helps too. He does the math for me. Otherwise, I’d undersell myself.”
“Shall we take our beers and move to the picnic table? I want to watch her in the pool. Don’t mind the chickens. They will leave when they realize we have no food for them. <sets pep/cheese/cracker plate down> BISMARCK NO! We don’t feed dogs to the table in OR out! Go Lay down . . . good boy. Why thank you Cricket. I AM proud of my garden! Yes we have 10 acres, 1/2 acre is my garden and we have many animals here.”
“Now I could go into the spiel of how petroleum products used in candles sputter, smoke and are bad for you and the US. Or I could expound the virtues of buying American soy products from American farmers and how it is cleaner burning/melting and I feel it smells better too. But I wont keep you, as I know you are very busy. suffice it to say, that is why I believe in my product. not to mention, I test each and every new scent to make sure it is something I would like to buy. I am not a ‘Yankee candle’. I am just a SAHM trying to sell a homemade quality product at an affordable price. COLLEEN! NO Jumping!! <KIDS! LOL!> ”
“Well, Cricket, I hope I have answered all your questions. Feel free to drop by anytime! I hope you don’t have any trouble finding you way to the main road. OH and here <hands Cricket a box> Here is a couple doz. fresh eggs and some produce from the garden. Enjoy! It was a pleasure spending this time with you. Sorry it’s such a zoo, but that a sample of the norm around here.”
It didn’t take but a moment for me to see that the biggest difference (beyond selling a superior product) that will set this business apart from all the other businesses out there providing similar products, is the owner. Her attitude is absolutely contagious.
I will be keeping a very special eye on this woman’s work, as I fully expect her business to grow by leaps and bounds.
I WILL DEFINITELY SEE YOU AT THE TOP!
Small Business Marketing Consultant and SEO Training Specialist
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