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May 22, 2009

Presentation, Value, Loyalty, Buzz is the motto of the day! Time and time again, I hear individuals say that in order to be successful in business and build up your brand; one must rely on word of mouth, and constantly build relationships. I definitely agree with this, additionally, I believe that the success should be placed on the fact that products must have value to the consumer.  I remember listening to a CD with Seth Godin who was speaking about how he was able to sell DVDs of lit fireplaces to people who did not have a real fireplace. People bought this DVD because of the way it made them feel—warm and cozy. Those customers told more people who became customers; the fly wheel began.  Presenting the product effectively to the customer explains accurately and increases the value that can be gained from buying the product which leads to consumer loyalty and eventually buzz. Repeat after me—Presentation…Value…Loyalty…Buzz!

I was speaking to a salesman and he says to me a lot of his clients buy from him because he creates a sense of security for their need. A spark went off in my mind.  I realized that though the product needs to have value, even if one has a crappy product (which he did) the salesman needs to develop the ability to create that sense of value about the product or company, He did so beautifully. He went on to tell me that if it wasn’t for the customer service training that his company provided him, he would not be as successful as he is today. I began to ask family, friends and colleagues, “if a person has a bad product, but creates a sense “I got to have this,” would you purchase it?”  Although, I got a few expected “no’s,” an overwhelming majority said “yes.”  There has been quite a few times where I bought a product just because the salesperson represented the company or product well and knew how to create that sense of value in me for the product.

I used to conduct customer service trainings twice a year as a manager in the restaurant industry and I’ve seen first hand the value that the employee has to create for the consumer. While my focus was on training my employees how to maximize flow and efficiency and ensuring brand consistency, I now understand the importance of teaching you staff how to create value for the customers. More companies should do this!

What are some ways that you create value for your customer? Below, I’ve listed a few things that I could think of. If you can help build the list, I’d love to hear your comments.

Ways to create value in selling a product or brand.

Own the brand– Though it sounds cliché, it’s vital. One must be able to represent the company/brand/product professionally, accurately, and quickly. It should be on the top of your mind at every moment. If it is not at the top of your mind, how will you create the top of mind experience for your client, and how then will you initiate buzz.

Passion– That is to have enthusiasm for the values and the purpose of the company or product. Your personal brand becomes mixed with the corporate brand you are representing.  IF they are inconsistent, the lack of passion will develop. Therefore, before selling a product, make sure your passion is intact.

Excellent Presentation– When you ask people about their perceptions of salespeople. Most people begin to describe the stereotypical fast-talking, pushy, loud, hyperactive individual who will not shut up to let you ask a question. Don’t be this person! If you are…tone it down a notch. You will lose a person’s attention within the first 1 min. Be professional, and make sure your product is clean and functional.

Consistency- If the product or food doesn’t look like what is advertised in the brochure or website, no one will feel comfortable spending any money. Lastly, stay true to the values of the brand. Many times it takes only one salesperson to disrupt up consumer loyalty to the brand and is detrimental without the use of PR.

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