The never ending supply of push button tech tools baffles even the best entrepreneur. Success is not always based on acquiring the latest software program. Just as the electric screwdriver is now a way of life for the construction worker vs. the manual screwdriver so is the importance for having the right software to stay competitive.
There are limits and over-consumption can create a mountain of trial and error. Even the latest social media tools change the platforms so frequently that retraining and more retraining minimizes profits even though sales may increase.
How to choose the right software at the right time?
Instead of answering the questions from the front end, we will apply one of the seven habits of highly effective managers: "Begin with the end in mind."
There are basically ten stages for the buying and selling process. I refer to them as "10 iSteps to Customer Love". This is a play on words because so many business owners are talking about themselves vs. the benefits their customer / client / guest will receive. "I am..." or "I do... " can be helpful but not necessarily the lead point to make.
With "10 iSteps to Customer Love", the entrepreneur can take a step back to analyze what type of push button software tech tool is needed based on the phase of a relationship (a few refer to as "the funnel").
Instead of first downloading software that looks cool which then turns into analysis for "how can this be used?", understanding the stages and what tools are needed to improve performance is the best way to approach software selection.
"10 iSteps to Customer Love" walks through the customer relationship from before the beginning to long after the purchase.
With each step in the process, the questions will be "What push button tech tool can be used to facilitate, save time, improve service, WOW the potential customer, etc."
Here are "10 iSteps to Customer Love"
Doing your homework to improve effectiveness of marketing and sales is a known factor. How to do the research better and faster is not typically shared. What tools are in your software toolbox to enhance your research? If you are wasting time and money on finding people, businesses or products, then you need a tool to get it done faster. Without software to Investigate, guesswork and sheer will power is an old-school alternative solution.
Take a moment to look at your current list and label which can be used to Investigate.
Once you have done your homework with Investigate and have familiarity with your target audience, person or company; it is time to extend a hand, say hello, and make an inquiry. There are hundreds of ways to make an introduction but keeping the primary choices under ten keeps the entrepreneur focused vs. practicing and studying. Software push button tech tools used for introductions may be the most important of all. First impressions can creating instant bonding and understanding or kill the deal before a conversation.
Take a moment to look at your current list and label which can be used for an Introduction.
The introductions are over. Since the invitation is in the same context as the introduction, there is as overlap for the software tools, since both are used in essence to connect with someone. There is a variation though as the invitation will be made more than once. The key question for choosing the right software tools will be: "Can the tool be used to enhance the effectiveness or streamline the invitation?"
Take a moment to look at your current list and label which can be used for an Invitation.
A quick side note:
Many tools have diversity. To have a piece of software that can be used to introduce, invite, thank and then measure the results and have feedback is powerful. Example: Animoto. (I view all marketing as invitations.)
Imagination & Innovation
The introduction and invitation are in the past and it is time to create something unbelievable which will cause people to say: "How can they do that?" With tools that makes it faster, easier, simpler (& funner), an entrepreneur will never be stuck again for how create something which is outside the box.
Take a moment to look at your current list and label the tools that enable you to use imagination and innovation without the need for high tech skills?
Often times this is the step sales people might skip to as their first step. This is where "No thank you" is heard because the other steps were skipped. Without the investigation, how can a message be relevant? Without the introduction, how can they know you? During the illustration phase, the business can share, teach and show samples of products or services.
How can the customer experience the benefits in advance? A flyer and pamphlet is no longer acceptable. So much more is needed. There is no time to gain expertise for the more powerful tools but there are now tech tools available with very short learning curves.
Take a moment to look at your current list and label which can be used for illustration.
Illumination can be a specific goal or might become a symptom within the other stages. During the Illustration phase, a potential customer might have that "ah-ha moment" which sheds light or changes their paradigm. Digging deep, using the imagination and offering illustration of the benefits will bring people to the WOW factor more quickly by having information at your finger tips.
Getting the "ah-ha" moment from someone is a sign of success. The goal is to reduce the paperwork, shuffling and have the best available with a click of the mouse.
Take a moment to look at your current list and label which can be used for Illumination.
There may be overlap or you might have a special tool which turns beliefs upside down.
Is it time for the close? Are you hoping to get them to "add to cart" with a button, and accept your proposal? How do you ask a person in such a way to engage them, ensure they feel great? You could invite them to seal the deal or you could invite them with a push button tech tool to improve the 'yes' factor.
This software tech tool will have slight variances from the first list for invitations. There is more familiarity and connection at this stage. You may be making an invitation personally, online, with something in print or even a text message.
Take a moment to look at your current list and label which can be used for Invitation at the later stages.
Each time a person is willing to trust you, at this stage it is very important to show gratitude. Showing how you are in awe with abundant appreciation can happen by taking action (not just words) as the next best step. A simple 'thank you' might be accepted well but there are software tools to again keep them smiling and scratching their head. Showing thanks in a big way with a few fun tools will keep you top of mind.
(Don't miss this step.)
Take a moment to look at your current list and label which can be used for showing thankfullness and how in awe you are for their trust (and purchase.)
Time to test the happiness of someone who made the purchase. Following-up with a customer or client is nothing new in concept but seems to be at the bottom of the list for execution. Following up to ensure that happiness is intact gives confidence when there is knowledge that the promise was kept and there is satisfaction in the minds and hearts of those who trusted you. A push button tech tool can offer a unique approach to set you apart.
Take a moment to look at your current list and label which can be used for understanding whether the buyer continues to have happiness intact.
I Love it!
If you do it just right and use the push button tech tools, it is possible to get a referral along the way instead of the very end. If it is as easy as clicking a button, it would only make sense for the client or customer to pause just a moment to give you that referral. They better love it though! Every "I love it" will get you 10 more introductions and the process starts over again.
Take a moment to look at your current list and label which can be used to get referrals, testimonials and recommendations from those who say: "I love it".
There are thousands of push button tech tools available. There is not enough time and energy to research every software tool.
It is not enough to simply learn a software tool. In order to have success, entrepreneurs must harness the software which takes time or an investment into outsourcing the work or possibly training a team internally.
A few of my favorite push button tech tools:
These are tools I use daily but there are many more. The list includes free software, software as a service and online services for a fee.
As you look at your list of software, I hope you can look at tools as methods to have more impact during the stages of "10 iSteps to Customer Love". Limiting software download consumption and minimizing the number of programs to learn allows you to harness a few vs. trying them all.
Which of the stages do you have the most difficulty with? I bet there is a software program for low or no cost to help you get it done.