Why should we choose you? This is the question your prospective customer is asking about you and your business right now. What’s interesting is that they already have the information they need to make a choice. In our current attention economy conclusions are drawn about your business in literal split seconds. Old faithful attributes such as dressing well, being on time, making eye contact, and being polite definitely still apply but we’re operating almost exclusively online these days. What is it that you need to make a powerful impression to land your next sale?

In my day-to-day work I regularly get offers from online marketing service providers. Their websites look amazing, their sales pitches are on point, and their overall image gives me a great sense of comfort to engage in conversation with them. As our journey goes I often find that the actual business operation is far smaller than their online presence. They look good and they portray a professional business image so I’ll hear them out. Basically, they have earned my trust.

 

Here are a few things you absolutely need to have so you can make your business look good in 2020

 

Website

If you don’t have a website, you basically don’t stand a chance of being competitive. The nature of your business might not be to transact online but people want to have the knowledge that you exist online. Now, just having a page with your self-designed logo is not good enough. An updated, well-designed professional website is fairly easy to come by in our day. Make an effort to reach out to a designer and get your website online as soon as you can.

 

Business Email 

My pet peeve is to get a business card displaying a Gmail address. So two emails land in your prospect’s inbox. One from [email protected] and one from [email protected] The cool guy has immediately lost out. You need a professional email address to be taken seriously. Your Gmail account is good for planning this weekend’s TV sports get-together at your house. In 2020, let’s not send quotes and invoices from our free personal accounts. How do you get one of these classy email addresses? When you sign up for your website hosting plan which is needed to get your website onto to the world wide web, you will get access to an email hosting facility where you can add something like [email protected] It will only cost you R99 per month for your web hosting plan which includes free email hosting. That’s burger money in exchange for looking good online.

 

Social Media Presence

They’ve already checked if your business has a Facebook page with recent posts. If not, back of the line, please. This is free, for now, so why don’t you have it? It’s just our modern-day nature. If you’re not on social media you must not exist. It takes all of 2 minutes to post something cool to your Facebook page every day. There are even content scheduling apps where you can load 30 posts in one go and the app will post content to your page every day at the time of your choice. If you want to really establish a professional presence on social media, 1-grid actually has a full-suite social media marketing solution. Someone will handle your content writing for your and you will get sales leads as well.

 

Brand Basics 

We buy the brands we trust. The good brands are the consistent brands. Consistent with their messaging, colours, logos, and their overall appearance. If you want to compete, you must look good. People invest in what triggers them emotionally. If you have flyers that look like you are promoting the school snack dance, please have someone design something professional for you. Your brand is not your logo, so don’t over-invest but it’s good to have a clean professional look and be guided by a brand booklet that explains how you should use your logo and colour profile. Here’s a cool article that goes into more detail on this topic.

 

Gratitude

Be relentless about saying thank you. This even goes for the times you get that uncomfortable feedback from your clients. Open your reply email by saying “thank you” as there’s no such thing as bad feedback for a small business owner. You need to learn from every single encounter. Gratitude combined with a polite attitude will always put you miles ahead even before you pitch your product. Also, be quick about saying “thank you”. People deal with enough anxious and desperate situations daily, spreading the positive vibes is good for all of us.

 

Value

Offer your customers value that will allow them to continue to do business with you. If you are not an expert in your field yet, do all you can to become one. Leverage of other industry players’ guidance. Connect with people who are already doing what you want to do. Customers value being informed so keep them up to date with what’s happening in your industry. Offer tips on how to use your product after you’ve landed the sale and delivered. It’s good to keep your brand on the customer’s radar without pushing sales.

 

Education 

You need to invest in yourself by reading and listening to good talks via Podcasts or online videos. It’s not good to come across as uninformed. You cannot put a price on education as a business owner. If you don’t educate your customer, someone else will and snatch your sale.

 

It’s tough to get ahead in any industry. Do what you need to do at the start of this year so you can gain a competitive edge. All the best for 2020.