THE CANADIAN WAY EH!
Dear Ottawa residents,
I have spent the past nine years since joining the board of the Ottawa Network hearing that we have an Achilles heel in our business community, we don’t know or are afraid to market and promote our companies with vigour and panache. Sadly, there might be some truth to this belief. I keep hearing how much better our neighbours to the south are at promoting and selling their products.
Yes, we as Canadians are thought to be friendly and courteous, but we are much more than that. We have some really bright and talented entrepreneurs here in the nation’s capital and elsewhere in Canada. We have collectively built world-class companies like Cognos, RIM, Nortel, Bombardier etc. So how should we do a better job promoting our Canadian companies?
I think it requires a multi-dimensional approach.
We should first look at the opportunity to encourage our kids who are about to enter college or university and take business and marketing courses that will give them a solid foundation of how marketing works and how to implement it properly. Sadly, our schools miss the boat when it comes to selling. I am not aware of any university or college courses that teach the art and elements of selling and I can’t understand why since it is one of most important skills required to help a business get off the ground and grow.
We must develop a curriculum that offers courses in sales. On the business front we must learn how to tell more compelling stories about our company’s products and services and how they can really benefit their client’s in some meaningful way. I know we have some of the best comic writers in the world, just witness all the Canadian talent working in the US and writing some top-notch shows. We have a wicked sense of humour in this country and we should use a little bit of this skill to market and sell our products.
Finally, some of the most compelling reasons someone should consider buying your product or service is the testimonials of satisfied clients. If you are not touching your clients after the sale to find out how you are doing then you are losing a fantastic opportunity to ask your most enthusiastic and satisfied clients to promote your company to other potential clients. If you can arrange to shoot a short testimonial video with a few of your clients it will be more compelling than having their written testimonial on your website or written material.
Until next time, keep promoting and selling!