I was asked this question on LinkedIn by an acquaintance so I thought I’d share it here too.
The person asked me if my business was affected by the economy. A valid question considering that everyone in Malaysia seems to find life getting tougher in every aspect.
Here’s my reply to his question.
“I am not that much affected as we still sell our website services and people are still excited to attend our marketing events.
I believe the answer lies in value creation.
Our philosophy has always been of a giver’s mindset coupled with value creation.
For instance, if you land on our website, we offer you a free PDF report. We assume you must be interested in getting web services from us but you also may need some guidance. The PDF report helps you with the criteria you need to know about before you get a website. It also gives you some 20 questions you can ask your next web designer so that you are not completely clueless when you get into a discussion with your web designer.
Another area of value is that we offer once a month sessions called Tech Tuesday to help you understand more about setting up websites. (UPDATE: Tech Tuesday sessions are paid sessions as of 2017.)
Anyone can come and ask us anything about websites – from design to content, from online marketing to offline marketing. Sometimes even competitors come to check us out!
But this is not one of those creepy, sneaky previews. (In fact, we hate them as much as you do!)
We started Tech Tuesdays because we often rolled our eyes at those sales-y, sneaky previews and asked ourselves, “What does it take to be genuine and share good stuff with people without being a sleazy sales person?”
Because we wanted to share real knowledge with people who made the effort to come to our office premises at Eureka Complex, USM, we launched Tech Tuesday some 9 years ago and it is still going strong.
It’s a small group session usually made up of maximum 8 attendees. Small group sessions allow us to give attention to each person and their queries.
For those who want more, they can come for our paid events – our quarterly Marketing Mojo is one of the paid events (we have one coming up this 14 September at China House Cafe). This is more about marketing than tech stuff.
And people love meeting people so we bring together a group of business owners (many of our own clients join in) to exchange ideas about marketing, especially for small businesses.
I think a lot of businesses need to see that it’s no longer about selling a product or service; a lot of it has to do with being the first to extend your hand and helping others.
Instead of always focusing on selling, the business owner of today needs to use software and tools to help him educate his target audience so that when they are ready, they will come to him.
I remember sitting next to two ladies at a seminar recently. One was quiet while the other was boisterous and loud.
The boisterous lady turned to the quiet one (who was a perfect stranger to her) and started talking about her own business and how she has health products for everyone.
This kind of marketing is annoying. She never even asked if the lady next to her needed health products but assumed she did.
Could she have done better? Yes. She could have just asked about the lady’s health and let the lady reveal more of what she ate or what she did for health. But none of that. She just bulldozed her way into the (one-sided) conversation!
I believe that the more value you can create in your business to serve your prospects and customers, you will always find a way to trump a bad economy.
A bad economy can mean good opportunities for growth too (look at how many businesses are started during a recession or economic downturn).
If you offer the right value to the right people, they will buy. If you offer the right value but your prospects don’t see it or understand it, it means you have to work on your communication.”