The UE Coaching Blog
Providing value to your customers and clients is the most important step in the customer acquisition and retention process. This starts well before the customer has purchased from you and continues well past that first, second, or even 5th purchase. You want to be providing them with value every step of the way.
Providing VALUE - massive disproportionate amounts of value is the secret ingredient for ALL business success.
So... How do we do it?
You'll want to spend some time engaging with your customer base - your prospects, through social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and more. Build the relationship first before asking for the sale. It's all about building trust and building value first so that when you ask them to purchase whatever it is you're selling they've already purchased into your business and you.
There's another important distinction to share here - shallow similarities do NOT create a strong Know Like & Trust factor, so take the time to dig in and really create your opening by doing what everyone else isn't - taking the time to get to truly get to know your prospective clients. Be the big kid on the playground that isn't afraid to go out and play.
Be prepared to spend some time investigating who it is you're connecting with. I won't either send or accept a connection request without first checking out the person's profile and their extended network and connections. I do this, not to be a social media stalker, rather to gain knowledge on and about my prospective client in how I can make an actual connection with them.
A successful business relationship, be it B2C or B2B is a LOT like dating. You don't just walk up to a random person and ask them to sleep with you. You have to engage that person and show your interest, find out their likes and dislikes, then when you ask that person out for a date you'll know they'll say yes!
You must be prepared to put in the time and effort, and provide massive value on a level that's meaningful to your prospect, to facilitate further conversations and ultimately make the sale. Without that meaningful value you're just another salesperson looking to pitch their wares.
This is such an important lesson because each day we're all inundated with hundreds of commercial messages. Each time you create that potential relationship with your prospect, through providing massive meaningful value that is attractive to them, (read: solving a problem), you're staying in front of them. You're driving down your cost per lead (CPL) AND driving up your close rate. The stronger the connection the less they need to be told about your product or service and the less likely they are to walk away!
You'll also want to identify and understand who your customer is and what makes their lives easier and more productive, and then you'll need to come up with a product or service that fits those needs. It's not what you "think they want" it's what they've TOLD you they want, because you've done the work up front, utilizing survey's and questionnaires (that's exactly what Kaelin Poulin, aka LadyBoss did to build her business to #4 on the INC. 5000 Fastest Growing Companies In America as of 2018).
Taking the time to thoroughly investigate WHO your customer is, WHAT they want and WHY they need it is essential. This step is critical to your success. It might seem and feel like it’s the right thing to forge ahead with your idea or service, however if you haven't done the work, you may the only person who sees that value.
Not selling as much of your product or service as you want to be? It's very possible that you're not targeting the correct ideal customer. It's also possible that what you believe your ideal client "wants" (and maybe that's because YOU want it) doesn't necessarily mean that they actually DO want what you are selling.
Creating a VALUE PROPOSITION is not about what you want to sell, it's about figuring out how your product or service solves your customer's problems and answering the question - "Why should I buy from you?". It's not about pitching your product as the best, it's about proving that you offer the best value to solve their problem.
When done properly and strategically, not only will you see an increase in sales and revenue but you'll also enjoy a higher close rate and more referrals. Those clients and customers will want to repay your generosity by providing their acquaintances with referrals of their own, resulting in new opportunities for growth!
We're jumping ahead of ourselves here though...
That first purchase is the hardest sale to make and it's usually a fraction of what your customer will spend with you over their lifetime as a client.
Go ahead… read that part one more time... That first purchase is the hardest sale to make and it's usually a fraction of what your customer will spend with you over their lifetime as a client.
That's right... let it sink in.
That first sale should be viewed as an investment in the relationship and providing value, not necessarily as money in your pocket. But boy oh boy will it pay dividends down the road.
If you're not enjoying immediate results after implementing these principles, review your own actions and behavior, as well as your processes; look at what you've sold in the past. How much effort did you put into building solid relationships and providing something of true worth before asking for the sale? Did you provide substantive value? Were you offering problem solving solutions that helped them meet their goals to earn their business over your competitors'?
I know that early on in my sales career I didn't do this stuff very often or very well. Because of this I had many failed opportunities or no's followed by me blaming myself or doubting my abilities. Then I'd try again thinking there was something wrong with me... "I'm not good enough" "I don't know how to sell" etc.
What I came to learn was that often times it wasn't about me at all. It was the other person and their own fears that were getting in the way of them moving forward with me or my company.
I solved it ALL when I finally recognized that there WAS something I could do about it. I could educate myself, I could hire a coach, I could hire a sales trainer, I could learn how to ask the right questions and listen to the answers.
It's not about me anymore... it all comes back to them now . And every time I take the time needed to better understand my prospects' needs, wants or desires before trying to make a sale, they are MUCH more inclined to move forward with my proposal. In fact, I now have a very high close rate and generate more referrals than I can keep up with.
Don't believe me? Well, you don't have to... do the work and prove it for yourself! Here are a few questions to help get the ball rolling:
• What problem does your product or service solve for the customer?
• How does it do this and why is your solution unique and more valuable than that of your competitors'?
• What specific results will the customer experience after consuming your products/services?
• If they were using a different company to provide the same solutions, what would be missing from their lives?
• How does your company differ from others out there who are not providing the same solutions?
• If the customer was hiring someone else to help solve this problem, what would they be missing out on because of it?
• What could be some potential consequences of NOT solving their problems, after all...?
The answers to these questions will give you the insight you need to provide your prospects with not just an offer, but a compelling reason to invest in YOU.
The best companies are those that never stop providing value to their customers and clients. They do this in the form of quality products or services, and most importantly, how much value they provide and how they interact before even making a sale - as well as after years have gone by since your first interaction together!
The next time you're faced with a tough sale, take a step back and ask yourself...
"Am I providing enough value here?" "How do my prospects perceive the value in what I'm offering?" "Are they getting something of real worth or am I just trying to make another quick sale?"
It's time to stop "selling" and begin educating. Be aware, be smart, and get more clients by working less than everyone else!