What do you guys believe is the #1 service THE MAJORITY of businesses need?

54 replies
We all know about social media management, mobile sites, web design, flyer creation, and all kinds of services to sell.

However, what do you guys think is a service that MOST businesses are in need of?

It's hard for me to think of just one, and I believe reputation management is one most people need for those who have horrible reviews, but not all businesses have bad reviews.

Do you believe it's email marketing, SMS marketing...etc?
#businesses #guys #majority #service
  • Profile picture of the author umc
    The one that fits their particular business and target audience. Your question seems way too broad and general.

    If you were to ask where most business owners miss the boat, I might say in following up with their current customers. They spend all of their time chasing new customers instead of developing the base that they already have.
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    • Profile picture of the author isaacsmithjones
      Originally Posted by iAmNameLess View Post

      Marketing.
      Yep... You need to forget about what you're selling... And think more about what will help that particular client, under their current circumstances.

      They don't care about which service you're using, as long as it earns them money (and it's legal)
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    • Originally Posted by iAmNameLess View Post

      Marketing.

      Yup. I think a lot of us forget that our only goal is just to MARKET their business. Not so much about selling this thing or that thing, but to market their business.
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    • Profile picture of the author DaniMc
      Capturing and marketing to their past customers.

      Almost every business owner I have worked with struggles to market to past customers.

      They always want to know how to get more customers, and can't figure out how to use the goldmine of info they already have.
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      • Originally Posted by Dan McCoy View Post

        Capturing and marketing to their past customers.

        Almost every business owner I have worked with struggles to market to past customers.

        They always want to know how to get more customers, and can't figure out how to use the goldmine of info they already have.
        Exactly. This is what I feel and believe to be extremely vital; making the most out of the same customers.

        It's true that their current customers are already there, and there is no need to focus into only about finding new customers but to make the most out of the current customers.

        Originally Posted by plessard View Post

        The big problem is that business owners do NOT wake up in the morning thinking they NEED mobile sites, web design, seo etc...

        You need to tap into the more base needs first. Peace of mind, security, the feeling of stomping a competitor they hate. The more emotional the trigger the easier the sale. They often do not even understand what they buy when it comes to marketing you just need to make sure that what you promise is what you deliver in regards to feeling and results.

        99% of the time business owners dump one service offer for another all on a feeling.
        Exactly. It's all about selling them the chance on getting what they mainly want. They want to see what you can do for them, not so much what you can sell to them.
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      • Profile picture of the author marshallbailey
        Originally Posted by Dan McCoy View Post

        Capturing and marketing to their past customers.

        Almost every business owner I have worked with struggles to market to past customers.

        They always want to know how to get more customers, and can't figure out how to use the goldmine of info they already have.
        I recently asked a business owner about marketing to their existing customers.. He had no idea how to accomplish this.. so I told him I would build him a portal site ( I used lead rocket on a page of my blog) that his secretary could put in the emails of all the customers walked in his door and did business with him ... A "VIP Newletter" ... I set up a link on her desktop and that was it....

        He asked "How much" and I had no idea so I just said $499.00 a month with no contract ... If he didn't like it he could quit anytime..

        He said OK and started that day. I couldn't believe it.

        He simply emails me once a week with a message for his list and I do a little copywriting on it and send it to his list.

        Simple

        p.s. - he later told me not to up on his price ... but I was to cheap.
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        • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
          Originally Posted by marshallbailey View Post

          I recently asked a business owner about marketing to their existing customers.. He had no idea how to accomplish this.. so I told him I would build him a portal site ( I used lead rocket on a page of my blog) that his secretary could put in the emails of all the customers walked in his door and did business with him ... A "VIP Newletter" ... I set up a link on her desktop and that was it....

          He asked "How much" and I had no idea so I just said $499.00 a month with no contract ... If he didn't like it he could quit anytime..

          He said OK and started that day. I couldn't believe it.

          He simply emails me once a week with a message for his list and I do a little copywriting on it and send it to his list.

          Simple

          p.s. - he later told me not to up on his price ... but I was to cheap.
          Yeah, hammering a customers list may be the single best way to guarantee sales. In fact, I've never done it myself without making a high multiple ROI.

          I don't know how easy that is to sell though. What works, isn't necessarily the easiest to sell. It isn't new...and it isn't sexy. Building a portal site sound like it would be and easier component to sell.
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      • Profile picture of the author joe golfer
        Originally Posted by Dan McCoy View Post

        Capturing and marketing to their past customers.

        Almost every business owner I have worked with struggles to market to past customers.

        They always want to know how to get more customers, and can't figure out how to use the goldmine of info they already have.
        This is it. They almost all want more sales and profit. The fastest way to do that, and also to show the business owner or manager how you can get results for them, is a lost customer reactivation campaign.

        The biggest hurdle is what Dan said: They want new customers. The second biggest hurdle is for a lost customer reactivation campaign to work, you need to create an irresistible offer.

        They will suggest "10 percent off when you come back to the store."

        That won't get them off the couch or off Amazon.

        Pick a few items with high margins and offer 50 percent off those, or 30 percent off anything in the store. It has to be killer.
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  • Profile picture of the author Peter Lessard
    The big problem is that business owners do NOT wake up in the morning thinking they NEED mobile sites, web design, seo etc...

    You need to tap into the more base needs first. Peace of mind, security, the feeling of stomping a competitor they hate. The more emotional the trigger the easier the sale. They often do not even understand what they buy when it comes to marketing you just need to make sure that what you promise is what you deliver in regards to feeling and results.

    99% of the time business owners dump one service offer for another all on a feeling.
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  • Profile picture of the author AmericanMuscleTA
    Seems a lot of businesses can't grasp the concept of marketing to past customers.

    Go around and ask the business owners the names of their best customers. They won't have a clue... and they don't care.

    Most businesses get a customer to make a sale, when they should be making a sale to get a customer.

    It's easier, and cheaper, to sell to someone who's bought from you before than to try and get a new customer. All of the obstacles are torn down. Want a new customer? Got to go through the obstacles, and pay the price.
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    • Profile picture of the author Gump13
      I agree, I try to gain new customers then I survey with what they expect from me and BAM! Give them exactly what they are looking for. Simple concept to keep your old customers while opening your doors to new customers with an updated product from what the surveys tell you people are looking for.
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  • Profile picture of the author sdentrepreneur
    Lead Generation......that is what I lead with now in first meetings with potential clients.
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    • Profile picture of the author Highway55
      Leads. They ALL need more clients. More business.

      But... some may have a good client base. In that case, they need a follow-up "system" that earns them more per client. That's where your creativity and expertise comes in.
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  • Profile picture of the author kenmichaels
    Originally Posted by internetmarketer1 View Post

    However, what do you guys think is a service that MOST businesses are in need of?
    Me. They all need me.

    The rest is superfluous.
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    Selling Ain't for Sissies
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    • Profile picture of the author RRG
      Originally Posted by kenmichaels View Post

      Me. They all need me.

      The rest is superfluous.
      Unfortunately for you, people buy what they want, not what they need.
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      • Profile picture of the author DaniMc
        Originally Posted by RRG View Post

        Unfortunately for you, people buy what they want, not what they need.
        .....Zing!
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    • Originally Posted by kenmichaels View Post

      Me. They all need me.

      The rest is superfluous.
      ken is so spot on IMO

      the most important service most biz's need : Ken, Me, and You! US!!!

      If you had to make a choice between

      a 1st rate product or service and 2nd rate mgmt/consultant/salesperson

      OR

      a 1st rate mgmt/consultant/salesperson and a 2nd rate product or service

      what would you choose????
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      • Profile picture of the author Tim Bazley
        The question should be What is the number 1 service the majority of businesses WANT? (Not need).

        This would then be a much easier sell.

        I'd love to know the answer to this myself!
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        • Profile picture of the author animal44
          Originally Posted by Tim Bazley View Post

          The question should be What is the number 1 service the majority of businesses WANT? (Not need).

          This would then be a much easier sell.

          I'd love to know the answer to this myself!
          Easy. They want low cost, or free, marketing... Give them a source of prospects for "free" and they'll love you forever...
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        • Originally Posted by Tim Bazley View Post

          The question should be What is the number 1 service the majority of businesses WANT? (Not need).

          This would then be a much easier sell.

          I'd love to know the answer to this myself!
          I feel like it is about a mixture of both. It is tough at times to sell to somebody who doesn't even know what they want, and then you try to sell to them what they need but they don't seem to care. It's all about showing them what you can do for them to get what they want in business, which is basically more customers and more clients.
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  • Profile picture of the author Kent_Thompson
    When I read the OP, I wasn't sure if the question was meant from the angle of what do the businesses really need but don't always realize they need (which was how most people answered), or if it was meant from the angle of, "what is a service that most businesses need, as in what do they think right now they need and want and therefore would be the easiest to sell to them".

    Since most people answered the first way and said marketing, I'll take a stab at the second way:

    1. Merchant account sales/service
    2. print advertising, business cards, magnets, mugs, t-shirts, flyers, pens, signs, etc...
    3. email marketing

    I think SMS marketing is still very thinly used overall...in my small town of 5,000 I'm not aware of a single business that I've walked into that uses SMS marketing, whereas pretty much everyone has #1 and has used #2 in some form or another. #3 is 50/50.
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    • Profile picture of the author savidge4
      What Service does THE MAJORITY of businesses need? The best way that I can service a client, is through listening. Following through my discovery process. Ensuring that before I walk out the door.. I NEED to ask "What else should I have asked you?"

      The discovery process is the key. Discovering the language that the client uses so that you can communicate on the same level. Discover what the clients pains are. Discover where your products / services may be lacking or over targeting. Discovering if the tipping point has been reached! All of this is LISTENING.

      Communication with a common interest. Let question sell your product or service. The more you ask the more you will understand. The longer you allow them to talk about themselves and their business the closer you are offering a service / product that is an exact match.

      There comes a point when you no longer are selling... you are offering a solution.
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  • Profile picture of the author mjbmedia
    Self service!!!

    More time with loved ones, more time on the golf course, in the beauticians, on holidays, pay off the mortgages and ccds, pay for their kids through private schools , pay for their beloved parents old age care home fees etc etc etc

    Or just plain greed, bigger car, new plane, more coke .

    Show them you can get them those things that hit their heart hard and youre in with a shout my friend
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    • Profile picture of the author ewenmack
      Save money on their existing purchases without sacrificing performance.

      Goes straight through to bottom line.

      If it's marketing related, the revenue has to be filtered through
      cost of goods/service and fixed expenses.

      Cut their existing costs and it goes straigt to the
      profit column baby!

      Best,
      Ewen
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  • Profile picture of the author AlexTee
    Originally Posted by internetmarketer1 View Post

    We all know about social media management, mobile sites, web design, flyer creation, and all kinds of services to sell.

    However, what do you guys think is a service that MOST businesses are in need of?

    It's hard for me to think of just one, and I believe reputation management is one most people need for those who have horrible reviews, but not all businesses have bad reviews.

    Do you believe it's email marketing, SMS marketing...etc?


    A broad response to a broad question....

    Most need to "learn how to" generate new customers and turn them into repeat customers in 2014 and beyond.

    The service/product that best meet this requirement is what they need and will vary depending on the marketplace, i.e., video marketing vs SMS marketing, etc., and what actions steps they are willing to take at this juncture.
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    • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
      A business service that you can sell to nearly every business? Credit card processing. Check guarantee processing. Customer contact software. Loans on future credit card receipts.

      Some businesses can use consumer financing. I made a small fortune, years ago, offering financing (with a huge fee) for second tier consumer purchases.

      Buying bad debts from businesses, and reselling them, or collecting them yourself.
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  • Profile picture of the author KloudStrife
    1) Social Marketing
    2) Marketing
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  • Profile picture of the author Matt Lee
    It's easier to get repeat business from existing customers... Work on a referral program to encourage repeat sales from previous clients, and also implement a way for customers to easily leave positive reviews online.
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  • Profile picture of the author alzack
    Email and SMS marketing are just few of the marketing techniques for our business.

    We need to identify which business is suitable for certain marketing techniques.

    One type of business can have a combination of SMS marketing, email marketing, PPC marketing, banner ads, bill board ads and so on. However, this might not be suitable for others.

    So, what I mean here is it really depends on the business, how big is it? who's the target? what's the goal? Then from there on, we can choose which marketing strategy is the best.

    I have 2 offline businesses: Homestay and proof reading services. Both are marketed using SEO. Luckily my blogs ranked really well for relevant keywords and so far the business are really great. For my online business, I am pushing hard on marketing it via so many platforms, and all of them so far are via online/internet.
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    • I am happy this thread grew. It gave not just me, but a bunch of others ideas and tricks to succeed in this business. Trust me, it's always very helpful to get more and more ideas on what works and what can help other business owners.

      Originally Posted by anpharmd09 View Post

      Customer retention: loyalty programs, email marketing, SMS etc.
      Loyalty programs work great. I can say that they have worked for me.

      Originally Posted by Claude Whitacre View Post

      A business service that you can sell to nearly every business? Credit card processing. Check guarantee processing. Customer contact software. Loans on future credit card receipts.

      Some businesses can use consumer financing. I made a small fortune, years ago, offering financing (with a huge fee) for second tier consumer purchases.

      Buying bad debts from businesses, and reselling them, or collecting them yourself.
      Customer financing? I have never learned about this, but I will be looking into it again.

      Originally Posted by Matt Lee View Post

      It's easier to get repeat business from existing customers... Work on a referral program to encourage repeat sales from previous clients, and also implement a way for customers to easily leave positive reviews online.


      Originally Posted by Dan McCoy View Post

      .....Zing!
      Originally Posted by alzack View Post

      Email and SMS marketing are just few of the marketing techniques for our business.

      We need to identify which business is suitable for certain marketing techniques.

      One type of business can have a combination of SMS marketing, email marketing, PPC marketing, banner ads, bill board ads and so on. However, this might not be suitable for others.

      So, what I mean here is it really depends on the business, how big is it? who's the target? what's the goal? Then from there on, we can choose which marketing strategy is the best.

      I have 2 offline businesses: Homestay and proof reading services. Both are marketed using SEO. Luckily my blogs ranked really well for relevant keywords and so far the business are really great. For my online business, I am pushing hard on marketing it via so many platforms, and all of them so far are via online/internet.
      Nothing beats getting clients coming to you.
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  • Profile picture of the author Rus Sells
    I firmly believe that the single most important thing any small business needs is increasing PROFITS!

    There are many paths do achieving this and it's up to us as consultants to find the best possible paths to increase profits as soon as possible.

    Which path can vary greatly depending on the space the client is in!

    For example a dry cleaner would benefit greatly by putting together something to get existing/past clients to spend more by bringing in more of their clothing or adding a new service.

    On the other end a plumber or roofer won't benefit as much from leveraging past customers to spend more because these types of services have tend to have very long buy cycles and in some cases like roofing it can be a one time shot until the next generation. Other ideas and paths need to be explored to help them increase profits.

    In the end they need more profits how you achieve that can take on many different forms.
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    • Originally Posted by Rus Sells View Post

      I firmly believe that the single most important thing any small business needs is increasing PROFITS!

      There are many paths do achieving this and it's up to us as consultants to find the best possible paths to increase profits as soon as possible.

      Which path can vary greatly depending on the space the client is in!

      For example a dry cleaner would benefit greatly by putting together something to get existing/past clients to spend more by bringing in more of their clothing or adding a new service.

      On the other end a plumber or roofer won't benefit as much from leveraging past customers to spend more because these types of services have tend to have very long buy cycles and in some cases like roofing it can be a one time shot until the next generation. Other ideas and paths need to be explored to help them increase profits.

      In the end they need more profits how you achieve that can take on many different forms.
      I agree. It shouldn't and doesn't matter whether they need one thing or another. If you can make a business more profits and make them earn more money, then you've got yourself a service worth selling.

      The way you go about selling it and what it is you're selling is another strategy.

      Great reply. I do agree that one thing works for another company may not work for another person/business.
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  • Profile picture of the author The Game Changer
    Marketing is not going to work for Manufacturing businesses that do not have their own retail license. A lot of manufacturers prefer to sell privately and not to the general public because it is expensive to have all the necessary licenses and regulations in place to sell product in all 52 states (I'm talking USA here).

    Things Manufacturers do buy in great quantity? Boxes, Labels, Printheads, Toiletries, Paper, Tape, Office Supplies.

    The easy solution to this problem? Focus! It always comes back to focus doesn't it? Skip offering "Marketing" to Manufacturing companies that do not have a public retail license completely and offer your services to retailers/other businesses.

    My answer for something you can sell to damn near every type of company is CONSULTING

    Even fledgling consulting companies need good consultation
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  • Profile picture of the author John Durham
    The number one thing that most of these offline businesses need is a newsletter. They need to quit wasting all the money it takes to get a customer in the door one time, and instead of getting a onetime customer, they need to make that person part of their database where they can send them back in the door anytime they want to with a click of a button (An Email). That's what most of them need. That is how a website is valuable to a diner (for example), for growing their customer database, so they can send out promotions weekly or whatever. Most websites are focused on selling something, but most of them need to be focused on growing the customers database, that way he can sell them whenever he wants. - JD
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    • Originally Posted by John Durham View Post

      The number one thing that most of these offline businesses need is a newsletter. They need to quit wasting all the money it takes to get a customer in the door one time, and instead of getting a onetime customer, they need to make that person part of their database where they can send them back in the door anytime they want to with a click of a button (An Email). That's what most of them need. That is how a website is valuable to a diner (for example), for growing their customer database, so they can send out promotions weekly or whatever. Most websites are focused on selling something, but most of them need to be focused on growing the customers database, that way he can sell them whenever he wants. - JD
      I do agree on some point regarding the newsletter. Although it could be an email or SMS system in place.

      Businesses need repeat customers. Any way that builds this is going to be very helpful.
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  • Profile picture of the author misterme
    Sales. Without changing anything else, without it really costing anything substantially more, if they could simply sell a little better, close another percent or two every day, their bottom line would vastly increase, wouldn't it?
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    • Profile picture of the author alzack
      Originally Posted by misterme View Post

      Sales. Without changing anything else, without it really costing anything substantially more, if they could simply sell a little better, close another percent or two every day, their bottom line would vastly increase, wouldn't it?
      Brilliant marketing can lead to sales.

      There's no point having awesome products/services but nobody buying due to poor marketing.

      That's my 2 cents.
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  • Profile picture of the author misterme
    ^^^ Thanks for making my point, being, they wouldn't need to do more brilliant anything - wouldn't need to spend more, do more, not even sell to more. Nothing. Except... just sell to whom they're already selling to, simply a bit better than they've been doing.

    Instead of doing things with marketing to increase leads, which in turn increases work time turing them into sales, just sell a little better. You're already selling prospects. Just sell those prospects a. little. bit. better.
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    "Best book on answering objections I have seen... it's for photographers but it has brilliant techniques you can use in any business." - Claude Whitacre. When They Say That, You Say This (Amazon Kindle)
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  • Profile picture of the author Defacto
    They need what they are already doing. You just need to tell them how you can do it better. If they are doing PPC you tell them how they can spend less while making more sales. If they are doing direct mail (big seller for me nowadays) you show them how your direct mail piece will get better results and how your mailing list is more responsive. You don't have to low ball, you just have to sell results. Goes with websites too. Just show them a competitor website that looks much better and explain to them, gently, how it is benefiting their competition.

    If you try to sell them something new fangled like apps or mobile websites (no need to even mention the website you build them will be mobile too) or social media marketing or SMS/push marketing then it is really selling and you'd better be good at it.
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    • Profile picture of the author ewenmack
      Originally Posted by Defacto View Post

      They need what they are already doing. You just need to tell them how you can do it better. If they are doing PPC you tell them how they can spend less while making more sales. If they are doing direct mail (big seller for me nowadays) you show them how your direct mail piece will get better results and how your mailing list is more responsive. You don't have to low ball, you just have to sell results. Goes with websites too. Just show them a competitor website that looks much better and explain to them, gently, how it is benefiting their competition.

      If you try to sell them something new fangled like apps or mobile websites (no need to even mention the website you build them will be mobile too) or social media marketing or SMS/push marketing then it is really selling and you'd better be good at it.
      YES!

      In my paper receipt business I only talk to buyers of them...obviously!

      The most responsive mailing lists are those who have already bought a similar product
      It's a buyer list.

      The whole foundation of the late Jim Straws 500 million dollar fortune
      was only talk to buyers.

      Best,
      Ewen
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  • Profile picture of the author Rus Sells
    Only talking to buyers only works in certain spaces though so that really isn't the best or only answer for all businesses.

    Additionally you really have to evaluate what a business is currently doing and also what they aren't doing.

    What they are currently doing may be bringing results but it may not be the most optimal or best way depending on their niche.

    What they are currently doing my be bringing in results but could also be optimized for increased results as well.

    Then of course they could be totally missing a far better path to increased profits in which case you'll definitely need to SELL them on something new.

    Now in regards to only speaking to BUYERS then yes of course this is a pretty fast way to increase profits but again it all depends on the space the business is in, the buy time cycle of the customers as well.
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  • Profile picture of the author bizgrower
    New, Repeat and Referral business

    Scott is a mathematician by training, so you can imagine how quantifiable his ideas are:
    Embracing the N.u.d.e. Model - The New Art and...Embracing the N.u.d.e. Model - The New Art and...

    Cash flow so they can re-invest in the business as needed to improve
    their product or service, or do that new marketing initiative.

    I know of a company that got out of their lease, purchased it's own space,
    and took advantage of the new, lower overhead to invest in marketing.

    Many, many owners or managers need to be able to back off operations to see the
    better strategies to more profit/savings...

    http://www.davinciinstitute.com/
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    "If you think you're the smartest person in the room, then you're probably in the wrong room."

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  • Profile picture of the author John Regal
    Marketing = Leads

    Real marketing to generate genuine traffic and sales for your website business, etc
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  • Profile picture of the author WebOutGateway
    Originally Posted by internetmarketer1 View Post

    We all know about social media management, mobile sites, web design, flyer creation, and all kinds of services to sell.

    However, what do you guys think is a service that MOST businesses are in need of?

    It's hard for me to think of just one, and I believe reputation management is one most people need for those who have horrible reviews, but not all businesses have bad reviews.

    Do you believe it's email marketing, SMS marketing...etc?
    It depends on the goal.
    Most of the companies, big or small, keep on doing actions that really don't fit in their needs. Most of these companies forget one thing: GOAL. It is not enough to say that your goal is have a successful company. First, thru this goal, you can aim for a target, you can aim for an action that depends on the target audience, you can fix marketing tactics that your audience wants, etc. Different audience, different tactics. So you must accomplish defining your goal first so you can truly identify the tactic.
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  • Profile picture of the author Local Jake
    Hi,

    The answer is sales and/or leads. Businesses owners speak in terms of making money and losing money. Plain and simple!

    If you can convey that you can make the local business owner more money with your services - you have succeeded.

    Business owners buy and want profits, not search engine optimization, SMS marketing, coupons, reputation management, directory listings, tv commercials, billboards and whatever form of marketing marketing companies sale.
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  • Profile picture of the author shelialhodges
    Every business have different ways to do so that they earn about offline business yes flyer creation ,is applicable, also doing personal work seminar, but in online business social media is important, you need to have a good traffic in your site, first you do identify who is your market, have a good product, then marketing strategy thats you will be succeed in your business
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  • Profile picture of the author Wildfire Results
    Several good ideas here. Why not start out with offering past customer reactivation to generate cash flow quickly and easily then they will like and trust you so you can more easily sell them on lead gen next (either the system or pay per lead) and then sell them on increasing sales conversions.
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  • Profile picture of the author pxitvcrnwgkd
    I admit I didn`t read all the replies but how about this:

    A consultant to make suggestions for improving their physical appearance. How many times will a business have everything done perfectly, mobile, social, good reviews - but then send a customer driving right on by because their brick & mortar appearance is sketchy?
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  • Profile picture of the author animal44
    IMHO the number one service most business owners NEED, is an education. They think they're in the business of selling widgets, when they should be in the business of marketing widgets...

    Can't remember who I stole this from, probably Dan Kennedy or Jay Abraham... :-)

    In terms of something you can sell them, I'd say focus on testing their advertising and making it more efficient. A pound (dollar) saved is a pound earned. And if you can reduce their advertising budget while increasing enquiries and sales, you'll be their darling forever... (Well, until a new sweetheart comes along!).
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  • Profile picture of the author Sebulba
    Customers

    Seb
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