18 The Costco Connection MARCH/APRIL 2016
ing and sales professionals), 60 per cent of
respondents said a phone call led to a vendor’s
offering being evaluated, and 75 per cent said
they decided to attend an event or make an
appointment after receiving a cold call.
The key is creating a valuable offering.
Before you dial, prepare a brief script to help
you maintain a confident, conversational
tone. Offer free samples, reports, discounts or
consultations that show your call is about the
customer, not just the sale.
Promote locally. Consumers increasingly buy local, which provides opportunities
for building personal relationships and long-term loyalty. Cross-promote your business
with other local businesses, take part in local
fundraisers or host customer education or
appreciation events that can give you an edge
over online-only competitors.
Local media is still an effective way to
reach your customer base and become known
as a local expert. “We write a weekly column
in The Arizona Republic about legal issues fac-
ing the elderly,” says Costco member Lauren
Witte, associate director of marketing at
JacksonWhite Attorneys at Law in Mesa,
Arizona. “Not only have we received direct
business as a result of this column, we have
gained great brand awareness locally within
The personal touch. Face-to-face interactions build trust. Sometimes connecting
with prospects in live settings, events and
conferences, where they already congregate, is
more affordable than trying to build your
own audience online. If you have a physical
product, face-to-face marketing allows consumers to actually touch and feel it, drawing
them closer to making a purchasing decision.
“By attending industry trade shows, we’ve
moved our business from a niche product to
one that’s experiencing widespread adoption
across multiple industries,” says Dan Wade,
director of marketing at Minneapolis-based
LifeFloor ( lifefloor.com).“Many customers ini-
tially find us online, but never pull the trigger
until they feel the flooring for themselves and
see how good it looks.”
Anti-aging expert Lorraine Maita of
Short Hills, New Jersey, built her business by
regularly speaking to groups. “Public speak-
ing predictably attracts new clients and invita-
tions to speak for other organizations,” says
Maita. “For example, a woman at one of my
The Costco Connection
Costco offers a number of business services
to help small businesses survive and thrive.
Go to Costco.ca and click “Services.”
talks referred her husband for one of my Elite
Executive Physical programs. Some people
who’ve heard me speak keep my business card
for years, waiting for the right time to see me.”
Combine the best tools
The key to combining online and offline
marketing is building your strategy around
your customers’ buying preferences. “We
don’t ignore online marketing, but we realize
that it’s only a tool,” says Khan of Rip n Go.
“Our ultimate aim is having our product carried by baby and home health stores across
Canada and eventually the U.S., where consumers are already shopping. When compared to online marketing, traditional PR has
proven the most effective way to achieve our
business goals.” C
Steven Van Yoder is an author and freelance
writer ( getslightlyfamous.com).
CONTINUED FROM PAGE 17
There can be only one . . .
Built-in tipper latch for easy unloading
45. 7 cm (18 in) of clearance
Made in Canada.
bearings, a tipper latch and a po wder-coated steel frame.
Its durable but lightweight polyethylene body will carry
up to 0.54 cubic metres and has built in tie-downs.
From outdoor adventures to simple back yard jobs,
hauling your load with the highlander means you’re
on the right path.
So go on…
take the Highlander road.
The Highlander is Equinox’s newest
all-purpose o;-road ATV utility trailer.
It’s built with 45. 7 cm of clearance
and comes equipped
with greasable 4-bolt
hubs, high-speed roller
AVAILABLE NOW | ALSO ON COSTCO.CA
© 2016 P&G