“Is that what you want, or is that what people expect of you?”

As a local business owner, have you thought of that yet? That's why there's only one Don Draper. The quote is from MadMen's deeply flawed yet compelling character named Don Draper. If you haven't watched the series yet, I suggest you do but this post isn't about a MadMen review. It's about how you can sell yourself, your vision, and your product to customers. Think about it, if you want to sell your product or service to people, do you think for yourself or for them?

Here are some tips on how to entice potential customers without sounding like a salesman:

1.) Create Great Content

“People were buying cigarettes before Freud was born.”

As social media becomes a crucial factor in attracting customers to increase ROI, it's a must to polish every piece of copy you're sending out. Be it a simple email or a weekly newsletter, the copy that it contains should have a personal touch which means that your email should sound like you're talking to a customer in person. The personal approach makes a customer feel that you're lending them a hand and not just selling something. For Facebook and Twitter, feeding your followers relevant content that can complement your product or service also helps them understand what you're selling.


2.) Manage Customer Expectations

“You don’t cover for me. You manage people’s expectations.”

You always have to be in charge, but keep in mind that you can't control people's expectations, you can only manage them. Reality checked – Every feedback and review about your product will be on the Web once you people start buying your product or availed of your service. So how do you handle a nasty situation that can turn into a negative review? You can use Google Alerts or Hootsuite to monitor reviews and comments about your business. Again, it's best to apply the personal approach, if it's a positive review thank the person for the kind words, but if it's a negative review, better ask the customer about the issue and offer help right away.


3.) Be a Pal, not a Salesman

“People want to be told what to do so badly that they’ll listen to anyone.”

You can tell people that your product works but you can't convince them that it actually works. The key here is to connect with them on a personal level so they'll be comfortable enough to ask you more questions and suggestions. Building relationships with your customers can lead to referrals as well. The more you talk to them like a friend, the more they'll endorse your product or business. Heck, they'll even write you a positive review which will complement your online clout.


4.) Tell your Story

“You want some respect? Go out and get it for yourself.”

You might be a business owner or a local marketing consultant, but on top of this, you're also a brand. In order to sell something, you must learn how to sell yourself by establishing your online personal branding. You can start by sharing your insights by writing a blog post, you might as well connect your personal blog your business website so people can easily read it.