Imagine there are 20 other people in the room, all with the same profession and same level of experience. Also in the room is one perfect client. Why should they choose to work with you?
In the first sentence you have either grasped your potential client’s interest or due to a lack of differentiation and understanding of the outcome you can provide, you have lost them.
It is important to give the prospect something to spark their interest enough to engage them in further conversation.
Different than a unique selling proposition or elevator speech, a differentiating statement identifies who you work with and what outcome they can expect.
If done effectively, a differentiating statement should lead to a conversation that allows you to explain how you do it.
Once you have been able to clarify this for yourself and your client, it’s time to make a commitment to 21st century, simple, repeatable, and effective marketing strategies that will propel yourself and your business forward.
Want to standout in the marketplace and get out of digital chaos?
Do what is most important. Defer anything that does not need to be completed right now. Delegate what you don’t need to do yourself. Dump all activities that take you away from SDDC (sell, develop, deliver, collect).
The Small Business Results Case Study:
In the day to day basis of running a small business, it is easy for owners to get caught up in the daily operations and wear the sales, marketing and finance hats. Therefore, it is challenging to remain focused, to grow and to expand the business in the direction that they would each like to see. Clients come to us with the problem of having too much to do and as a result either are not as effective as they would want, or they feel so overwhelmed that they are not even sure of what they would have someone else do or how they would teach them to do it.
We ask the clients to track their work day by using the DDDD system. When this system is employed, we consistently get a grasp on what is essential for the owner to do and what we could get someone else to do.
The Small Business Results Outcome:
By really tracking the day’s activity and measuring the business day by time, energy, and money we are able to create job descriptions, post it on a number of college job boards and hire right fit interns who can help grow the business and cultivate interns into great, future employees.
I love to put the constant question in the small business owners heads:
A day in the life of a small business owner or entrepreneur can be so incredibly overwhelming.
As great a tool as technology is, we find ourselves surfing, tweeting, facebooking, and not necessarily operating in a strategic fashion.For years, we have taken tremendous pride in seeing ourselves as multi-taskers, but we have found that in today’s world, multitasking does not work. We must have a razor focus on systems and structures for building revenue.
Often people ask us about time management and though there will never be enough hours in the day, we believe it is much less about time management and much more about self management.
Focused daily results means that you no longer turn around, look at the clock, and say to yourself “Wow, its 4pm, what happened to my day?” or look at your bank account at the end of the month and say, “Wow, where is my revenue?”
At the end of the day, there must be solid answers for what you sold, developed, delivered and collected.
At SBR, we believe that “commitment” is the most important word in the English language.
Not only is it the most important word, but making and keeping commitments seems to be one of the hardest tasks. Many factors can affect our ability to commit, such as losing passion, vision and purpose for our product/service, life circumstances, a competitive marketplace and the lack of current knowledge about your business.
People open a business because they have an idea, an interest, a passion or a skill and they get certified or licensed. They then fail to realize that to succeed they must also know how to structure and master the marketing, the selling, the policies, a web presence, building a data base, having a newsletter and e-mail communication. Most people have no way of knowing before they start a business how much there is to do. We continuously feel that everything we are trying to accomplish at once is interfering with our ability to actually get business results!
Commitment . . . commitment requires persistence, tenacity and realistic short term action steps because no matter what, a full commitment to you and your product or service is the key to success.
Ready to Make a Commitment To Your Revenue Growth?
Most commitments are made when we get to the NEED level, whether that be increased learning, selling or hiring.
The Small Business Results Case Study:
People open a business because they have an idea, an interest, a passion or a skill and they get certified or licensed. They then fail to realize that to succeed they must also know how to master the selling of their product or service. Before they start a business, most people have no way of knowing how much effort is needed to fill the pipeline and cultivate the relationships necessary to close sales. Time after time I meet with small business owners who say they have no revenue and that business is really bad. When I ask them about their sales calls they answer “Oh, I hate that part!” I ask, “Well, do you have clients that you worked with in the past? Can you call them?” Their answer is usually, “I really don’t want to. It seems so salesy. I know I need to do this, and I want to, but I hate it!”
The Small Business Results Outcome:
Selling requires discipline and consistency. I ask the business owner to create a list of 30 concrete names with contact information and to commit to making at least one or two calls a day and to tracking the results of those calls. This list consisted of past clients, friends, family, as well as new leads. By committing to make at least one or two calls a day the business owner went from zero sales calls to making 20 to 40 calls a month. The result was a 7% increase in sales!
The Small Business Results Takeaway:
Action plan every 30 days. You will end up with an excellent year.
Some of the most successful businesses in the world have made their mark by being able to differentiate their unique capabilities. Small businesses also need to be able to differentiate themselves in order to stand out in this very competitive marketplace. It is a tool that you use on all of your marketing collateral as well as a means to engage a meaningful conversation. It is worth putting the time and effort in to create this!
IF THERE WERE 20 PEOPLE IN THE SAME PROFESSION AS YOU AND ONE IDEAL CLIENT ALL IN THE SAME ROOM, WHY YOU?
A client of mine came in for a coaching session and I turned to him and said, “Okay, I am a new potential client – sell me, I am ready to buy.” The client proceeded to tell me that he is an architect, that he does design build, that he provides HVC consulting and contracting, that he creates architectural plans and that he handles property management.
I then said, “Okay, but I still don’t get it….tell me what you do.”
He told me that this has been a recurring problem of his for the past 5 years. He knew that he was so incredibly talented and capable of so many amazing things, but he had never been able to identify a way to properly communicate these skills or services that he provides to others.
I continued probing, asking him questions, and getting him to talk about himself –
What are his passions? What is his business? What are his skills? Who is his ideal client?
After carefully listening and absorbing everything he told me, I turned to my computer, began typing and said:
“How does this sound: My name is Joe Smith and I am the President/Founder of Joe Smith Design. We work with building owners who want increased efficiency and safety, and to bring their property up to code.”
He looked at me and exclaimed, “That’s it! That’s what I do!”
I then asked him if he knew any building owners, to which he replied, “Oh yes, many!”
“Ok, good,” I said, “then your homework assignment is to call at least one or two a day, tell them this differentiating statement and report back to me your results.”
My team at SBR received an email from Joe Smith today. He let us know that as a result of our last consultation session, a lot had happened in the past two weeks. He is now currently the manager of a very lucrative project, he has put in 4 proposals for other deals and he just recently signed a contract for another huge project that is scheduled to begin next month!
What contributed to getting him these deals? The answer is simple … a differentiating statement.
This 12-15 word statement is an amazing way to open a conversation, a door and should lead to one question: “Really, tell me how you do that?”
Like anything worthwhile, coming up with a great differentiating statement takes time and effort. You should really take a minute to look within, brainstorm some ideas, practice saying it to others and rewrite it as many times as needed.
1. Analyze the competition
2. Determine what sets you apart
3. Identify your client’s pain points
4. Create two columns:
– First Column: List who your ideal clients are
– Second Column: List the outcomes these clients receive by working with you
5. Spend some time putting the information from the two columns together to create your own differentiating statement, start standing out today!
How do you standout? How do you introduce yourself?
This can be a hard exercise. If you need my help, please schedule some time to work on this with me!
That simple statement holds more truth in the business world than any other words of wisdom. As a small business owner, coach or consultant, we are often the brand and we have the sense we must go it alone to build our businesses. In this day and age of fierce competition and the vast internet, I believe success is predicated on developing strong business relationships, and having mutually beneficial contacts across various levels.
Trust is not given, trust is earned. Developing and nurturing such relationships can provide the most rewarding out comes for generating and giving great referrals. There are near-infinite possibilities that you can utilize to build strong business relationships, but the following two suggestions will help get you started:
Content marketing is the marketing and process for creating and distributing relevant and valuable content. This content is designed to attract, acquire, and engage a clearly defined target audience. The objective is to drive customer action.
The future of marketing is all about content. Consumers want to see exactly what your business has to offer and how it can benefit their lives in a real way.
But what, exactly, does content marketing mean? Literally speaking, content marketing can be defined as a strategic marketing approach which focuses on creating consistent content materials to drive customer and lead generation.
So how can your business get involved with content marketing?
1. Start a blog. A consistent and well-written blog hosted by your small business gives you the opportunity to relate to both clients and potential customers at the same time.
A blog is an excellent opportunity for your business to show clients its relatability.
2. Give a guided tour. Try this – record and share a guided tour of your facilities, complete with employee interviews and surprise interactions. Help consumers know what’s “behind the curtain,” so they can feel comfortable doing business with you.
3. Host a webinar. Webinars offer a huge opportunity for potential customers to see your business and its expertise in the field. Without too much effort, you could develop a webinar on instructing clients how to use a specific product or service, offer hands-on training and real-life examples.
4. Develop a (blank) of the week. If your business is active on social media, create a content marketing strategy based on what you post. One easy method is developing a (blank) of the week… product, service, employee, board member, you name it. This type of content marketing allows consumers to get to know your business better and gives them something to look forward to every week.
Air Graphics, located in Watertown, MA knows that your marketing is about more than staying in touch; it’s about staying on top. With bold designs and vivid color, They’ll help you create great marketing materials to make an instant impression.
Get 10% off your first print order when you mention you read about them through SBR-Small Business Results.
Many of us get certified or licensed to do a profession without the understanding that it’s imperative that we also become sales people. In order to be a good salesperson, you need to be curious and interested in establishing a prospect or client needs, before the selling begins.
It is not about you. It is about them!
The power in being curious and asking questions is meaningful on both for the result outcome and on an emotional level by demonstrating concern and care for the person you’re talking to.
I believe the greatest results come from the people who ask great questions.
They don’t build their credibility with prospective buyers by fancy presentations or buy talking endlessly about themselves but instead they use thoughtful informed questions that implicitly demonstrate their knowledge and experience. They use questions to uncover hidden needs to identify whether or not there’s a problem or opportunity they can address. The best salespeople also use questions to connect on emotional level to get to know the person and show they care
It doesn’t matter whether you’re selling a product, or a service, or an idea; when you first meet someone, being curious and genuinely interested and demonstrating this by asking questions quickly earn respect for you.
That’s the first step towards building a trusting relationship.
Here are 7 powerful questions examples for you to try:
Can you tell me your biggest priorities?
Can you tell me your biggest challenges?
Can you tell me your biggest concerns right now?
Why is this important to you?
How much time do you personally devote to this?
If you had additional resources, what initiatives would you tackle?
At SBR we believe in applying 30-day strategies for commitment and accountability to everything we do.
In looking at our clients’ issues every 30 days we are able to clearly understand where our small business clients are struggling or succeeding. We are then able to understand what we or they need to learn or do to address the challenges or capitalize on the success.
When we realize that our challenges are universal and not just about us, we tend to beat ourselves up less. As when we learn what is working for others, we can integrate some of that into our own businesses.
I hope what we learned this month is helpful to you!
The Top 4 Issues We Heard from Small Business Owners:
I need more prospects and clients!
I have no idea what parts of social media (digital marketing) are effective for my business
I feel like most of my efforts have very little return.
I am so isolated and feel like I am working all the time.
The Top 4 Solutions to Success for Small Businesses:
1. Hands down, it’s all about customer service.
You must be outstanding at your craft. Your clients must feel taken care of and listened to and feel you are a trusted resource. Our clients that have the most open rate in their email marketing, the most reviews, and the most return business are those whose clients simply love what they receive!
2. Be able to clearly and succinctly understand your business concept:What do you do and how does it serve your customer. It is the courage to sell one thing clearly with the trust that that one thing will lead to many other. Create a mental image of them and make sure your marketing messages and content speak specifically to them.
Remember – you cannot be everything to everybody but you can be something to someone!!
3. Attract and stay in front of your ideal client.
Depending on who your customer is, some marketing methods will work better than others. Once you develop your customer profile, you can figure how to reach them specifically. The more niche-focused your business is in the marketplace, the easier it is to reach your market.
Order of importance for marketing pieces after Clear Messaging and Positioning:
Develop a great, mobilized website targeting your client. The site is about them first! In today’s internet, your site is one of millions. It is crucial to have a great site because all other sales and marketing efforts will lead them to it
Well-branded social media platforms and a strategic approach for attraction and visibility. It is how you are being seen and found
Content marketing/ Email Marketing, Surveys, Promotions. Email marketing done well is still the most effective way to stay in touch.
Become a thought leader/expert in your field. It’s all about providing valuable content to stay in front of people and connected to build and maintain relationships.
If you are not in front of your potential client, then you are invisible!
4. Keep your database in order and up to date.
Your best revenue exists directly in your existing database Your best opportunity to generate more revenue is to upsell an existing customer. The best way to upsell customers is to keep in touch with them. A satisfied client wants to learn and buy more from you and is very happy to refer you. This is called client engagement!
We encourage you to print out these four solutions and take a close look at your own business. Which of these do you need to strengthen, which are effective?
OurConcept to Customer offering addresses these challenges and solutions. The combination of Shelly and Susan’s strengths bring together the answers and the results you are looking for.
If you feel how our clients are feeling, let us help you!