101 Best Sales and Marketing Ideas
CHALLENGE THE CUSTOMER’S CULTURE
A number of the ideas described here effective not only because they are practical in one way or another, but also because they do something that customer’s find unexpected. This element alone is worth considering: it’s useful to have a few such ideas in your own armory. A good example is something a colleague of mind did some years ago.
From a management consultancy and training company …
This idea shows how something about a specific customer, in this case something that was almost chanced across, can be turned to advantage in a way that surprises. A consultant was visiting the Swedish manufacture SKF in Gothenburg. At the company’s ultra-modern office and factory there was a procedure used to impress visiting customers. They signed in, went about their business, then when they left they were presented with a smartly printed card, listing the time at which they had arrived, and that at which they were departing. Below this was a note of the precise number of ball bearing (the company’s main product at the time) that had been produced in the factory during their visit. Even for a brief visit it was an impressive figure, and often it was in the millions. It made a nice public relations touch.
This consultant saw this for the first time after a visit in which he had discussed sales training with the marketing director. He asked the receptionist for an envelope, wrote the marketing director’s name on it and then wrote on the card, “But how many have you sold?” He asked for it to be sent up to the offices. When he won work with the company, he and his colleagues who were involved on the project were constantly asked, “Are you the guys who dared to send back the manufacturing count?” The gesture was impressive, the word went round, and it did their profile no harm at all. I have always wondered how important it was in actually winning the business. No matter, it cannot have done any harm, and it certainly had style.
- Be observant and think on your feet, always watching for opportunities.
- Consider carefully any idea that “pops up” like this for a moment as they will not all be viable.