I’ve mentioned some of these before in different columns, so consider this like
a caffeine jolt – a load of them at one time, in one place, for your
• The change you give. Don’t give crisp bills as change
if you want your customer to spend more. According to a recently released study
in the Journal of Consumer Research, when bills are even slightly well-worn,
people are more likely to spend them than when they are mint crisp. (Bonus tip:
if you give a $10 bill that is crisp and a $20 bill that is older, the buyer
will spend the $20 easier than the $10!) • Extend your guarantee. Buyers will
worry that a 14-day guarantee will expire and will therefore rush to give it
back; make the guarantee longer, and your customer will have more time to enjoy
the purchase and thus be more likely to keep it.
• Get mentioned,
somewhere. Third-party credibility is the most important thing you can do for
your product or service.
The third-party validation means that customers
don’t have to take your word for why the product is a buy – they can trust the
• Accept Visa and MasterCard. Even better, American Express,
too. Show your customers that you have passed muster by the big boys and that if
those folks can trust you, they can, too. This also gives customers the ability
to buy from you without having to feel they need to trust you to do so. Let
trust of others do it for you.
• Testimonials and power seals. For
example, testimonials and “We Ship FedEx” notifications. SSL seals for your
website, too. Help the client feel there is no room for indecision, because they
are making the right choice.
• Pretend you are a child. When trying to
childproof a home, experts instruct us to crawl around on all fours, at the
child’s level, to see what can be dangerous and sticking out.
So to in
business; think about things from your customers’ level. What have you been
doing that makes life painful for them? There’s a certain parking lot in
Jerusalem that one needs to put his credit card in twice to get in and out. And
it doesn’t work very well, causing backups and traffic jams. (The “no backing
up” teeth certainly don’t help things either.) And the 70-year-old attendant is
not exactly the right person to fix technical issues. I guarantee a busier lot
if they would streamline that process. But who is supposed to do the strategic
thinking to make that happen? • Thank them for their business. And mean it. “We
appreciate your patronage” goes a long way in making customers come back. And
yes, it’s proven in studies.
• Change something. The size, the sale, the
price, the ad border, the ad size, image in the ad, your logo color. Static is
not good for a business in an age of busy, and you become invisible after a
while. Keep yourself in the forefront of awareness and attention by freshening
up every now and then. Ad fatigue is well known by direct marketers and on
stuffy Madison Avenue, as well; if those two groups can agree on this, then
there is certainly no room for you to doubt it.
• Network. Meet new
people. Invest in them. Be genuinely helpful. I scored a lengthy Wall Street
Journal interview from a meeting with an employee at the Journal with whom I had
coffee (well, technically I had hot chocolate). When you meet and make friends –
and don’t think about profit but rather new vistas and horizons – it pays off.
Which leads me to: • Don’t make the mistake of quitting when you are so close to
success! I’ve seen many people throw in the towel just before the finish line.
You have to give yourself the time to let success happen from all your efforts
and hard work. Easier to say then to do, especially when cash is tight, but well
worth the results.
And one more bonus tip: Feeling down? Trying to make
business but having a hard time going to meetings because you know the bills are
piling up and income is down? Borrow $1,000 and keep it in your pocket. You will
have a certain dance in your step that will be infectious, keeping you positive
and helping you feel good about yourself. This helps others see you as someone
who isn’t desperate to close the deal, making them more likely to want to do so!
email@example.com Issamar Ginzberg is a business adviser, marketer,
professional speaker and rabbi who has been published in more than 50 business
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