Saturday, March 3rd marks the 9th anniversary of the conception of 33 Dimensions. While some may be looking forward to the more celebrated 10th anniversary, the number 9 is something special to me.
I’m kind of a freak about numbers and tend to assign both good and bad vibes to certain values – but there’s one that tops them all, the number 9. In fact, the “33” in 33 Dimensions comes from square root of 9 as well as the date this company was founded (03/03/09) which also happens to be an equation (3×3=9).
The number ‘9’ was also present in other endeavors which I’ve undertaken through the years. My first professional music recording in 2005 was for an album which had 9 songs and was packaged with an album cover design that depicted 9 roads leading to 9 mountain peaks. Later on, my first international release was on 09/09/09 with Imaginary Lines 33 and current plans for an updated compilation of some of that material will be released on the 9th anniversary of that album, this coming September.
The number 9 is also my mother’s favorite number. A former Catholic nun, she was #9 in her convent in North Carolina and she has always been fascinated by the nine choirs of angels. On Mother’s Day in 2014, we launched a marketing initiative (partially in her honor) called Top 9 Lists which by the way is 10% more exclusive than your garden variety Top 10 List.
In any case, I guess this is sort of a long-winded way of offering my sincere gratitude for helping us reach the 9 year mark in our business endeavor.
As a mission-driven business, we’ve always been more motivated by a greater purpose than simple dollars and cents. The following TED speech by career analyst Dan Pink adds a nice twist on the balance of creativity and motivation.
Sometimes it is not enough to provide an outstanding product or service. More often, your personal approach is just as important. Some of the most successful business owners create a unique connection with their customers and prospects by providing their own custom touch to the marketing process.
Below are seven tips on salesmanship that may help you develop a special relationship with potential customers.
Tease Out any “Red Flags”. It may seem counter-intuitive, but an early step may be to look for reasons NOT to do business. Before you give your sales pitch, take time to research your prospective client and forge an honest assessment. Here, any serious “red flags” may immediately come to the surface, giving you the option to walk away before you invest a lot of energy, time and money. In order to accomplish this, have to ask the right questions in an initial survey or meeting and don’t be afraid to dig deep into the answers with follow-ups. Here, you may discover that the customer’s needs and expectations are not a good match for the services you provide or, more importantly, you may set a solid foundation for the legitimate goals that you want to collectively achieve.
Be Responsive. When a customer or potential client reaches out to you be sure to respond, even if the subject seems frivolous or you can’t provide an immediate solution to a problem. Responding in a timely and consistent manner demonstrates your undeniable commitment to a customer’s needs.
Court Your Clients. In order to spark the interest of a potential customer, you may have to develop a way to hook them somehow. This may be by sending them an interesting article that’s related to their business or highlighting a positive customer testimonial and suggesting ways to maximize its effect. In any case, it is also important to give them the time and space to respond and be respectful of their busy schedule.
Make Your Business as “Close to Home” as Possible. The best way to connect with a new client is to use the “corner store” approach, by remembering the little things and shared references to create an maintain a bond. Use casual conversation and genuine interest to discover common missions, places, values, or passions and make the customer feel that she is seen as more than just a potentialdollar sign.
Communicate on Multiple Levels. While it’s often much quicker and less stressful to email, phone conversations and face-to-face meetings can be far more effective in creating and maintaining meaningful connections. Further, it is important to use other means of communication like social media or online customer sites to lend your support and/or help spread the word on your customer’s business.
Focus on the Big Picture and Look Long Term. Sometimes it’s easy to go on a tangent and get lost in a particular small detail, while losing sight of the real goals of a business arrangement. The longer arc of developing a vision for the future is just as essential as the pressing daily tasks which may require immediate attention. Like many things in life, it takes patience to develop fruitful and lasting customer relationships. Resist the temptation to rush the process and bring the relationship to a level it has not naturally matured into. Take the time to explain how your service benefits the prospect over time and exhibit patience in cultivating a business relationship which slowly works towards achieving those goals.
Be Especially Loyal to Your Most Loyal Customers. This is something that is of particular importance here at 33 Dimensions. We see big companies make fantastic offers to “new” customers while excluding those who have been loyal and true over time and this method baffles us. We do the complete opposite and have always had an unwritten policy to offer the absolute best rates to those who have been in good standing for the longest amount of time. While both are important to growing a business, we place a higher stock in maintaining the business relationship with those who have built a positive bond of longevity than be preferential to the “shiny new” prospect.
Below is a simple list of 33 items which may help spark creativity on those days when you need a catalyst.
Be Open Minded
Surround Yourself with Creative People
Discover New (Original!) Music
Go for a Walk, Run, or Hike
Examine Your Roots
Count Your Blessings
Try to Contemplate the Size of the Universe
Look at Old Pictures of Loved Ones
Get to Work Early
Clean Your Workspace
Take an Alternate Root Home
Find a Creative Rhythm and Work to that Groove
Create a Framework
Don’t Force It, Give It Room to Grow
Take Breaks When Needed
Allow Yourself to Make Mistakes
Periodically Reflect on Progress
Get Honest Feedback
Appreciate the Creative Output of Others
Never Discard an Idea (write it down and check back in a year)
Don’t Apologize for What Makes You Happy
Embrace Awkward Situations
Don’t Play by Someone Else’s Rules
Never Give Up
In competition for content relevance, companies and organizations are using images, graphics, and short videos as an extremely effective way to get their message out. 33 Dimensions produces original graphics and video montages which are attractive and interesting.
Marketing & Analytics
For some time now, smart marketers have been using a new set of tools to monitor their markets, with the real potential being the ability to dynamically respond to analytics. Businesses can now instantly meet customer needs and explore new market opportunities.