YOU, the small business person or individual marketer, are the reason people don’t buy your product or service. Think about that for a minute and we’ll come back to that statement.

I’ll admit it, I’m a price shopper. I love a good sale and yes, I use coupons and love to shop on EBay. I find it more of a game sometimes to see how much I can save on a particular product. I spent some time this weekend looking at the internet sales for a few things I would call “wants”. Wants: you, know, where you spend your discretionary income. Not the requirements of life like groceries and paying the electric bill, but rather the, “do buy that new Apple 27” iMAC because it looks really awesome” want.

This led me to think about the psychology of being a buyer and in turn, the seller. I’ve read a lot of books on selling over the years and the conclusion I’ve come to is this – The more expensive or specific your product is, the more the person behind the product matters (i.e. the salesperson, owner, agent, or distributor). The statement, “People buy from people they like, know and trust,” rings true.

Many times when I am buying a product or looking into a service I follow the rule of three and obtain 3 price comparisons or estimates to choose from. I’ll tell you, I don’t always go with the cheapest option. What I really look for is how I am treated by the sales person during the sales process. Of course I care about the reputation behind the business and a host of other factors including customer service, but what matters to me most is how I feel. Some may say this is a gender thing, but I don’t think so.

No one, male or female, wants to feel “duped or sold” and most of us want to feel like we got a good deal and spent our money wisely, whether we spent $1 or $1000. This is where people come in. I’ve heard many times, “A great product or service will sell itself”. I don’t believe it. If that were true, there would be many more millionaires in the world. People sell great products. I buy insurance from people I like and trust because they have my best interests at heart and I am happy they make money helping me. I get my hair done by a woman I know won’t let me walk out of the salon with my hair turned orange because she has my best interest at heart and yes, I happily pay her for her expertise.

You, the small business person or individual marketer, are the reason people don’t buy your product or service. If you have a product someone wants consumers are willing to buy when they are comfortable with you and your knowledge, no matter what the price of your product. For example, I know at least 5 Life Insurance agents, including my current auto insurance agent. I recently decided to look into an additional policy. I didn’t go to my current agent but instead gave the business to a friend who only sells financial products. We met at a networking event a year ago. I gave him the business because I like and trust him. I didn’t think twice about it although if I shopped I might have saved a couple of bucks. I’ve gotten to know him over the last year and he’s become a friend. Friends like to work with friends. People like to work with people they like.

No matter how big or small your business: Here are 5 things you can do to build your personal brand today:

1. Make Connections with People: This includes all forms of networking from social media to those Chamber or local group meetings. Get to know your networking connections at a deeper level than just their title and occupation. Take the time to find out about family. It is ok to become friends.

2. Keep the Personal Touch: Touch your connections often. At the very least send a monthly note. You can call it a newsletter to a group or it can be an email once a month to a few individuals to let someone know you’re thinking of them. If one of your connections is in the newspaper – cut the clip and send it to them with a note of congratulations. Show you are paying attention and you care.

3. Under Promise and Over Deliver: Do what you say you are going to do. Be true to your word. This goes to the heart of your personal character and integrity.

4. Be Knowledgeable: Know your product and service, be an area expert in your field of choice. This builds your reputation and draws people to you.

And most importantly:

5. Be Genuine: Remember, people do business with people they like and trust. Everyone can spot the phony person in the room. There’s no need to overcompensate. Just be who you are.

Be authentically you,

P.S. For more information or to find out how we can work together call me at 503-780-3203 or email me at View the video to learn more about creating freedom and flexibility in your life.

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Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 8 comments
Lucy - January 6, 2010

I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don’t know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


Execumama - January 10, 2010

Great post! I like the simple, straight-forward approach you’ve taken on this post. I’m especially partial to suggestion #1! It’s definitely about making connections, that way people aren’t just browsing your site, but really feeling like they’re getting to know the person behind the brand.

Jimmie Carrio - March 24, 2010

Hi just thought i would tell you something.. This is twice now i’ve landed on your blog in the last 3 days hunting for completely unrelated things. Spooky or what?

used electric guitars - April 2, 2010

I just couldnt leave your website before saying that we really enjoyed the quality information you offer to your visitors… Will be back soon to check up on new stuff you post!

    VaNessa Duplessie - April 3, 2010

    Thank you very much. I appreciate your comments. I will continue to work hard of providing relevant information that is helpful.

Rodney Gainous, Jr. - May 17, 2010

Great info.

I too look for great service when buying a product of service. If i’m not happy, I take my money and go somewhere else.

Laurie - May 19, 2010

Hi VaNessa,

I so agree with what you said. And the good news is that you can do something about it. If people aren’t buying from you, that’s a clear message that you need to change yourself first. Maybe you need more knowledge, maybe you need better communication skills, or maybe you just need to be more real. But change comes from the inside first, before you can attract others to like and trust you.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I am so glad we connected on The Unified Tribe.



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