By Evan Carmichael on June 10th, 2013
If you’re a brand that is trying to sell to the small business community and you don’t have a face for your company, you’re going to lose.
You’re missing out on a huge competitive advantage and you’re allowing your competition to eat your lunch.
*** PEOPLE LIKE TO BUY FROM PEOPLE ***
We know this already right?
But it’s especially applicable to entrepreneurs.
We LOVE our businesses and put everything we have into them even when common sense might tell us not to.
If you want us to buy from you, show us that you love your business too.
Show some passion.
Tell us your story.
Have someone at your company tell us that they love their job just as much as we love our business and they’re willing to help with whatever problems or questions we have.
If you don’t then you remain a faceless corporation and you’ll always lose.
We have no loyalty to faceless corporations.
We’re going to switch as soon as someone gives us a better price or a better connection.
*** SMBs ARE REALLY GOOD AT PERSONAL SELLING, BRANDS AREN’T ***
As entrepreneurs we’re used to selling ourselves.
We go up against big competition every day and we win because we sell ourselves.
We tell our story, show our passion, and make people believe in us.
Brands suck at personal selling.
They give us the same corporate messaging and do nothing to build a relationship with us.
If you want us to buy from you then act like us.
Make it personal.
Again, if you’re a brand and don’t have someone on your team actively telling their story and your company’s story, you’re going to lose.
You’re not giving us a reason to stick around and stay loyal to your business.
Your best bet is usually being the best of the worst – the other companies are so bad that we have no choice but to go with you.
That’s not a competitive long term advantage.
*** THE FACE SHOULD BE ACTIVE ***
We work hard as entrepreneurs and so should you if you want us to buy from you.
Whoever is the face of your company should be active in the community.
Post on social media and in forums.
Answer people’s questions.
If they can’t answer the question, put them in touch with someone who can.
Be a resource.
Show us that you care about us and are listening.
*** THE FACE SHOULD TELL HIS / HER STORY AND THE COMPANY’S STORY ***
We want to know about your story and how you got started.
Show us that you started off as a small business and had troubles, just like what we’re going through now.
Make your story relevant to us.
Most corporate About Us pages suck.
They lack passion.
They don’t make us care about you.
Dig back into your company’s roots and learn about how you got started.
Share it with us.
Tell us about your early mistakes and how you overcame them.
Humanize your business to make us care.
Whoever the face is, we want to know your story too.
How did you get started at the company?
What excites you about your job?
Why did you want to get into this business?
Again, make it personal, tell your story, and make us care!
It’s not that difficult but somewhere along the way from small company to big company, brands have forgotten how to connect with people.
*** THE FACE DOES NOT HAVE TO BE A HIGH LEVEL PERSON ***
It’s great to have some personal messages from the CEO, especially if they are the founder, but the face of the business doesn’t have to be that high level.
Who is your SMB Marketing Manager?
Let’s get to know him or her.
As long as he or she is responsive, active in the community, and is helpful, that’s all we need!
Until you make your business personal and make us care you’re constantly going to be fighting a price and features battle and we’ll keep jumping ship when someone gives us a better deal.
Is that the game you really want to play?