Stop Selling ‘Hype’ And Help Your Customers Instead

Updated on 29 May 2017

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Stop Selling 'Hype' And Help Your Customers Instead

The world is filled with marketing hype. In fact it’s estimated that globally $500 million is spent on marketing hype annually.

But should marketers instead be substituting that four letter word, “hype” for the simple word “help”.  The reason: focusing on determining how you can be useful to your customer provides you with the potential to create a customer for life.

This is the strategy proposed by American marketing coach and speaker, Jay Baer, who is the most retweeted digital marketer and author of five New York Times best sellers. (He’s a real character and is a tequila collector too!)

Jay reveals that the latest trends indicate that customer experience will be more important than price by 2020.  Customer experience or service is the new marketing and is one thing your opposition cannot steal from you.  It’s your ultimate competitive advantage.

Help In Action

I have a customer who at the beginning of this year practised this helping concept. They are an advertising agency and I assisted them to draft a questionnaire that they used as a basis for one-on-one discussions with key clients.  Their aim was to establish major customer challenges and ways in which they could assist.

From their research, the agency determined a common area in which clients wanted to be up skilled.  They prepared a presentation on this topic and presented it for free.

The result – now that their clients have an understanding about the topic, they want to implement new campaigns in this area and guess who they are calling on to action their requirements!

Your Haters Can Become Helpers Too

In his book, “Hug Your Haters”, Baer points out that adopting a strategy of focusing on help; can even have a positive impact on your critics.

Baer quotes the example of a Brussels based chain of cafes, Le Pain Quotidien, which are located internationally.  Whenever their Customer Services Manager sees an online complaint on Trip Advisor or Yelp, she immediately replies via a public apology.

However, as Jay states, an idea worth stealing, is her immediate follow up action.  She messages the individual privately online and heralds them as being a discerning customer who has the rare ability to see things which other customers do not.  She offers them two gift cards per month for the cafe chain and encourages them to take advantage of these and also to complete a questionnaire for her on each of their visits.

This Customer Services Manager currently has 100 haters whom she has converted into 100 helping secret shoppers.  Now that’s effective marketing!

The Rewards

Helping your clients, shows that you really are genuine in wanting to assist them and builds trust.  They will more than likely call on you the next time they are faced with a challenge in your business area.  It’s very much along the lines of the serving first before you sell concept that we have often spoken about before in these articles.

In the words of Jay Baer, “Being useful to customers results in your having an affinity with them and they in turn have an affinity for you. It provides the ability to take the business in a new direction.”

So ultimately it’s simple. Focus on asking, “How can I help?” It guarantees rewards for your customer and you.

About the author: Shirley Anthony is an author, speaker and owner of Marketing Breakthroughs, a marketing consultancy operating for over twenty years. Having initially gained corporate experience in fast-moving consumer-goods branding, she has consulted in over twenty-five industries, including cellular, information technology, travel, engineering, food, cosmetics, architecture and banking.  

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