Articles tagged "Marketing"
Hmmm. Another customer just selected a competitor for their next project. That’s the third time that’s happened this quarter. Like the others, you thought you’d worked well with the customer. So why didn’t this customer choose you again? It must be the new CFO that joined their company last year. She’s probably forcing them to use new vendors. She obviously doesn’t care about maintaining successful working relationships. It’s obvious she only cares about saving money and not the value of maintaining a good working relationship. It certainly can’t be about the quality of your services. This customer’s always been happy with your services. Haven’t they?
Having and following a consistent sales process allows you to easily move through the process as you transition leads to prospects to satisfied customers. Here's a basic 10 Step Process I've shared with my clients.
Most people buy on emotion: They want something that will make them feel good or take a problem, issue or pain away.
People (& businesses) buy products & services because they want the BENEFITS or RESULTS those products & services provide. Newlyweds don't get excited because they "got a mortgage." They get excited because a mortgage will allow them buy their first home.
If you want prospects to first notice you, second pay any attention to you, and then third, buy from you, you need to make it easy for them to choose you over someone else. You need to make it easy for them to pick you.
Know your USP (Unique Selling Proposition)
Your Unique Selling Proposition is a basic statement that clarifies how your business is unique and valuable to your targeted customers. It helps you answer the customer's question: Why should I buy from you instead of the other supplier selling basically the same thing? Why you?
A few years ago I worked with a community bank. They had six branch locations, and like their competing community banks, they were struggling to compete against the big guys expanding into the area. So the question to them was, "Why should a customer choose you instead one of the other community banks in the area?" To say I was met with a room full of deer-in-the-headlights stares is an understatement. They couldn't. They were local. So were the other community banks. They were active in the community. So were the other community banks. They had been around for over 100 years. So had a few of the other community banks. There was nothing that could set them apart.
However, after a few strategy sessions and some homework, the bank's leadership team came up with their USP: We can simplify your financial life. Even though they were "just" a community bank, they had most of the financial features and services of the big banks, yet they made their financial decisions locally, quickly, and in-house. From complicated trusts and investments to basic checking accounts, they could handle it all.
When most banks provide the same general products and services, being able to simply and concisely explain how you can help your customers fulfill their financial objectives differently than another bank, can be the key to winning their trust -- and their business.
Copyright MMXIV Liz Weber, CMC, CSP - Weber Business Services, LLC. – www.WBSLLC.com +1.717.597.8890
Liz and her team work with leaders to create focused plans for their organizations' future. Then they work with the leaders to ensure their plans are implemented effectively.
I heard Greg Caruso of Successful Exits share a story recently that I found valuable for my clients because of its simplicity and truth. When he was young, Greg loved to fish. When he grew older, life got in the way until one day he made a conscientious decision to restart his childhood hobby. He started fishing again in his favorite pond. However, now as an adult, he didn't seem to be as lucky. He caught very few fish. One day, as he was unloading his car after another disappointing day, his elderly neighbor returned home from fishing. Greg’s neighbor unloaded his truck and had a cooler filled with fish. Greg asked the man how he was able to catch so many fish. “Well,” replied the neighbor, “I only fish in ponds where the fish are.”
This simple tale struck a chord with me, because I've heard some of my new clients bemoan the fact that their sales are dwindling or they’re off from last year’s numbers. Others are frustrated because competitors seem to be thriving, while they're struggling. What should they do?
Why not fish in ponds where the fish are instead of fishing where you’ve always fished?
This is easy to say and hard to do. I know. I've been there. It’s hard to accept the fact that the customer group that had been the bread and butter of your business is no longer the right target market for you. Even though you've had great relationships with them, you’ve shown mutual loyalty, and you've helped each other grow and succeed, things have changed. They no longer need or can support your products and services.
It’s time to go fishing.
You need to realistically – and quickly – look elsewhere to find new opportunities. It’s time to stop – immediately – reminiscing about how great things used to be. It’s time to start – immediately – looking at your industry and identifying what market segments in it are hot and which ones are “biting.” Next look at why they’re hot. What is propelling their growth? What economic, cultural, political, gender, etc. issues are feeding this market – and why? Now ask, “How might our current products and services help them continue their growth?” “How might we modify our products to better fit these markets’ current – AND future needs?” When we start asking these types of questions, we start seeing opportunities instead of stagnating markets; we see ponds of new fish, instead of ponds without.
If you’re continuing to pound away at your traditional target markets with limited results, why do you continue?
Why – as the saying goes – are you doing things the same and expecting things to change? Accept the fact that your traditional market isn’t right for you anymore. It may be right for another business, but not yours. It’s time to move on. It’s time to identify the markets that will provide sufficient opportunities to allow you to achieve the level of success you deserve.
It’s time to start fishing in the right ponds.