That’s right, Sprint. One of the most hated cellular carriers in America can teach you a shitload about building your online business.
Now I’ll tell you up front that I’ve worked for Sprint for years, but that has nothing to do with what they can teach you.
I’ll also tell you up front that I have Verizon as my personal carrier. Again, nothing to do with helping you, just a little full disclosure. Now, first things first.
Why is Sprint so seemingly hated by customers? I have no idea. Their plans are the best, their coverage is great and they have some of the most innovative phones available. But none of those things are the secrets to growing your business.
SPRINT’S BUSINESS BUILDING SECRET
Over-delivering. The old saying is to under promise and over deliver and Sprint does that in every way. Their plans offer more features for less money than comparable Verizon or AT&T plans.
A great example of this is the Sprint Navigator app available on all Sprint PDA’s. This app was developed by Telenav, offers turn-by-turn navigation of Garmin quality and has been voted better than it’s Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile equivalents. But what makes Sprint Navigator so great?
It’s free. Unlimited use of the turn-by-turn navigation is included in your plan. Verizon makes you pay extra and their plans are already more expensive than Sprint anyway. When you over-deliver like that, people are always happy to come back to you the next time you have something to offer.
They know that your competitors might have products that are almost exactly the same, but they’ll always come back to you because they know they’ll get more bang for their buck. But of course that brings up that same question we asked before:
IF SPRINT OVER DELIVERS, WHY DO PEOPLE HATE THEM?
This is the second lesson Sprint can teach you about building an online business. Unfortunately, they have to be the bad example this time. Sprint just doesn’t control their own brand. When you think about cell phone commercials, you think about Verizon and AT&T.
They spend their 30-second spots regaling you with stories about their awesomeness. They can do everything you want and more. They’re amazing and you should rush out to buy their newest and greatest phone.
Sprint doesn’t do that. Sprint commercials show the CEO, Dan Hesse, telling you why his company is not so bad. A great example of this is the new HTC Evo by Sprint.
If you follow me on Twitter, you’ll know by now that I got a chance to spend a few days using the Evo and was blown away. The Evo is the only phone that lives up to the “iPhone Killer” hype.
It kicks ass in just about every conceivable way (okay, battery sucks, but that’s not really a surprise considering everything that phone can do). Now I know I’m biased, but the point isn’t how great the Evo is, but that you never heard of it in a commercial.
Sprint did damn near ZERO PROMOTION for this amazing phone. What. The. Fuck. The HTC Evo kicks ass, but have you seen any commercials on TV raving about it? NO. This is the first and only phone that uses 4G data speeds, but did you get to see it before it launched? HELL no.
DROPPING THE BALL WITH YOUR BRAND
Remember that when it comes to building your brand, you are the first line of defense. You teach people how to treat you. If I sat back and didn’t get this blog out there, who could blame me when nobody came to read it.
You might be awesome (might?) but how are people supposed to know that if you don’t tell them? Toot your own horn for fuck’s sake. Tell people you have the best product, the most helpful customer service, and the lowest price and then back it up when they take you up on your offer.
Have faith in who you are and what you have to offer. So what can Sprint teach you about your online business? It comes down to a simple formula:
OFFER SOMETHING AWESOME + TELL PEOPLE HOW AWESOME IT IS + OVER DELIVER THE AWESOME = THRIVING ONLINE MONEY MAKER
You probably noticed that there is always that missing X factor of “awesomeness.” Without that awesomeness factor to your business, no amount of publicity and over delivering is going to help. Of course, that’s also another post.