Friday, May 8, 2009

Beat the Drum

Beat the drum -- as in drumming up business in new and creative ways.

That was the overall theme for this month's early morning Fowlerville Business Association general meeting this last Tuesday at the Woodshire Place. Colleen Kilpatrick, the Marketing Coach of Colleen & Company, enthused the group with her own brand of ideas for innovating our businesses, staying in touch with clients, and figuring out what works best for each individual company when it comes to keeping present clients and finding new customers.

According to Colleen, there are 3 secrets to success in any economy, as taught by her mentor, Larry Betzler. And this includes not just a thriving economy but also during a down economy . . .

1) Discover and understand the needs of your client,

2) Clearly demonstrate how your product or service satisfies that need, and

3) Stay very closely connected to your client before, during, and long after the sale.

The information download was extensive and always thought-provoking, but one of the items that jumped out at me was to educate your client in exactly what you do. That may well be an area that needs to be explored more thoroughly, particularly with the service I provide.

Custom work.

Everything my company does is a custom job for a client -- whether it is a specific logo that I digitize to sew on any given number of items, or names on clothing, or numbers and names on the backs of jerseys, or personalized baby blankets and fleeces. As I've jokingly told people, "I have sewn everything from a car floormat to a jock strap."

So if you can dream up an idea, I can make it happen. (Oh, and don't ask about that jock strap -- let's just say it was very strange!)

In future articles, I hope to explore many of the businesses in and around Fowlerville to find out exactly what they do. Oh sure, The Decorating Center can sell you a chair, but did you know it can be designed to be exactly the chair you've always wanted? Or you know Sweet Sensations sells chocolate, but do you know why they are far superior to any other store-bought chocolate? And what about Maria's Dance, or Aleta's, or Bridget Gallagher's. So much more is offered than just products and services.

The list could go on and on.

But, for now, let's just say Colleen Kilpatrick has got me thinking of the future and all the wonderful things that lie ahead for me and my clients.

For more information about Colleen or to contact her, head to her website here, or call her at 248.685.9226.

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