Stop Selling At Me!

Stop Selling At Me!

By: Sara Crouse, Integrated Marketing Strategist

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I can imagine that it is difficult on many levels being a small business in today’s environment.  I can only imagine… because I do not have one of my own.  I do, however, work hand in hand with many small businesses in Southwest Michigan on a daily basis. 

Being in a position where my job is to help promote and advertise local brands I have tried to do my best to be an active listener, and not push my clients to do anything that they feel uncomfortable with (either emotionally or financially).  Does this mean that I think businesses shouldn’t be advertising?  Actually, the exact opposite! Right now, it is more important than ever to make sure that your message is getting out to your customers.

The past few months have taught us many things, but one of the most profound is our strong sense of community, and the desire that people have to help local businesses not only survive but thrive.  How will people know that you are one these businesses if you are not telling them about yourself?  Sure, you will always have your loyal customers and Facebook followers, but what about the rest of the people who want to spend their money locally? 

…So, what is the answer to this conundrum?  How do you work with advertising professionals to spread your message without feeling like you are being sold something that isn’t comfortable for you right now?  How do you work around being “sold at”?  The answer, in my honest opinion is to find a trusted partner that you can work with… a true marketing partner that has your best interest in mind. 

Once you find someone that will actively listen to your goals and struggles, they can help you to best build a plan that fits your needs, budget and comfort level.  Find your partner, and build something original.  Bigger isn’t always better, but a unique angle will always grab your listener’s attention. 

Remember, you should always be an equal participant in developing your strategy; do this, and you will never feel “sold at” again.