Beth Boen has more than 30 years of experience in sales, marketing and customer service. She is an award-winning marketer. She is also a professional trainer and customer experience consultant. Beth loves helping people build long-term, loyal relationships that produce quality connections in their business that lead to lifetime customers and endless referrals. Beth helps people do this through her thoughtful blogs and training curriculum. Members of SHE Leads Group have access to more in-depth business development training through presentations at meetings from Beth, her curriculum, and guest trainers. In addition to being the Founder of SHE Leads Group, Beth has had a training and consulting business, The Voice Customer Experience, that she started in 2005.
To toot one's horn or not to toot one's horn, that is the question
As a customer experience and marketing consultant, I find many people have an amazing product or service, but do a poor job at tooting their horn. I sometimes find myself saying, "You need to toot your horn about [what they are so great at]". Most people are very uncomfortable about doing so, because they don't want to sound braggadocious. There are many opinions on the subject of self-promotion. But, what can be the potential problem with not tooting your own horn?
A major problem with not tooting your horn is that a substandard competitor may come along tooting their horn and it may not be truth. There are many people who get sucked into the horn tooting, wooing and bold promises of success.
This reminds me of an experience I had once as a marketing consultant. I landed this amazing new client and knew exactly how to grow his business. Unfortunately, a business consultant who was an amazing horn tooter, came along with bold promises of success and a supposed money-back guarantee. My client liked the sound of all her bells and whistles and wanted us to work together. He ended up taking her advice over mine on some issues that ended up costing him greatly. I guess I am guilty of not tooting my own horn loud enough. I did at some point tell this client that if he was going to work with her, I could not work with him any longer, as I did not agree with the advice he was getting from her. Sad to say, the advice she provided, put him on the road to losing his business. And, there was no money-back guarantee on that! Not tooting your horn loudly enough or at the appropriate time can make people overlook your product or service, because a competitor did toot their horn louder and better than you and it might not be truth!
Here are some tips on horn tooting
1. Toot your horn at the right time. If someone is inquiring about your product or service, talk about the results your product or service has attained for your customers. Back it up by offering references and/or showing them online reviews. Make sure your marketing materials toot your horn. If your website and other marketing materials are not quickly and effectively telling your prospects what you do amazingly different from your competition, then you are not tooting your horn well or at the right time.
2. If you can get your customers or referral partners to toot your horn for you, that never appears braggadocious. You can ask for testimonials that you can use in your marketing materials and on your website. Online reviews are also great to receive.
2. If you truly have something different and better don't be afraid to say so!
3. If an accomplishment was that of your teams effort, don't take all the credit. Recognize your team. This sounds less braggadocious if you are tooting your horn about your team and it makes them feel great about their accomplishments.
4. Look at how your competition is tooting their horn. I don't recommend copying them, but look at what they are saying and try to validate if what they are saying is true. Competitive shops are great for identifying this information. Developing your different/better story and your competitive edge cannot be done well without this intelligence.
At SHE Leads Group, we believe we also have something horn tooting worthy. SHE Leads Group is more than just a leads group. We offer unprecedented member benefits. When SHE was formed, it was formed to not conform to what all the other leads groups do. You can read about our SHE difference and experience it first hand by visiting a chapter near you, where your business category is not already occupied. We are also looking for well-connected, established business women who want to start their own SHE Leads Group chapters in metro Denver, Colorado and along the Front Range.