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Bad marketing habits I encountered with a small business owner….

It’s hard to wear all the hats required to successfully grow a small business. The marketing hat is crucial and many small business owners don’t dedicate enough time in this area. Thus, the time that is given to marketing has to be efficient and used to generate the best possible results. The following list contains marketing habits that need to be changed:

  • The greeting: I accompanied a client on a sales call for which he had scheduled an appointment. His opening was “ good morning I want you to meet Nick Petra.” Introducing me was not the purpose of the meeting, but from the opening remark I thought it was. It was the first meeting between my client and the prospect. Since it was a scheduled appointment the prospect should have known my clients’ name. My client never did state his name, his company name or the nature of the call.
  • Opening remarks: my client started talking about how the weather has changed. Next he asked how the prospect’s business was doing, how long he had been in business and other   miscellaneous small talk. ( This conversation took about 5 minutes)
  • Ongoing conversation: my client started to talk about his own business, his experience, how long he had been in business and other company information.
  • Sales presentation:  about 15 minutes after we arrived, my client started his “sales presentation”. I timed his presentation (seven minutes); he spoke about how good his service was compared to other firms and how good his communications was with his current clients’. He repeated himself several times and I felt he was thinking about what to say next.
  • The close: as expected we got a “thank you for stopping I will get back to you”.

In the initial interview with my client his lack of success in his presentations was on the top of the list, thus our joint sales call. After the call we went back to my client’s office and reviewed his performance. The following are the changes we made:

  • The greeting: “ Good morning, my name is _____ and Nick Petra and I are here to explain the benefits we can provide to your company
  • Opening remarks: my client was granted an appointment and talking about the weather and finding out more information about his client, was not the purpose. It’s better to focus on the purpose of the visit not making “small talk”
  • Ongoing conversation: most prospects are not interested in hearing your success story; they want to hear how you can help them.
  • Sales Presentation:  should be rehearsed and emphasize how your service can help solve the prospects problems.
    • The close: a direct, informative sales presentation will go a long way in letting you hear the magic words, “Let’s make it happen”.

In business as in life, foolish ideas dressed up to look impressive are usually dreamed up by impressive fools.

Nick J. Petra CFP      Changes are coming in the way of new concepts that will revolutionize small business support. Be the first to find out about it by subscribing to this blog at

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