Benefits, not Features!

Want to stretch your piriformis? Or checkout our new fabric?

If you are writing copy for your website, flyers, emails or making sales calls this week, remember your customer is interested in BENEFITS. And as business owners, close to our work, it can be bloody hard to break away from the ‘technical’ and features.

I get my suits made by a company that comes to Melbourne and custom tailors them and they call up every couple months saying they are in town. They called yesterday and asked if I wanted to see their new fabrics, new shirts. What is the benefit to me of that?

Sometimes I might be interested in ‘new’ but I’m interested in latest fashion, iron free shirts, eco-friendly cotton etc etc. If he had just dropped one sentence about these he would have increased the chances of hooking me, capturing my curiosity.

Pilates – spent yesterday afternoon developing better words for a great pilates business. We had a lot of fun. They love their technical stuff and procedures and muscles (eg piriformis) but that isn’t what the customer is buying. Some might be looking for the technical but most are looking to solve a specific ache, pain or range of motion issue. The content must address the benefits, the outcome…after all that is what the customer wants in exchange for their money – an outcome.

Check if you are focusing or mentioning the positive OUTCOME for your clients.

I call this unpacking the box. This strategy might help you.

You can look at your text or sales script and draw boxes around technical features.

Then ‘unpack’ that box. Ask yourself or your team…’what are the benefits of this feature?’ Put them on the whiteboard.

Only takes a few mins to do this but you will experience:
– Immediate improvement in sales
– Increased conversions
– You’ll reach your financial targets 3x quicker.
– And it’s a strategy you’ll make money from for the rest of your business life ($100K’s to millions!)and achieve that dream house, business class holidays, financial security.

That was my attempt at stating some benefits! 🙂

Another example: I can say I work with a client for 30-50 mins and they gain clarity. That’s nice. What does clarity mean to my client? Big deal, they got some ‘clarity’! LOL

If we unpack the clarity box…it can mean an end to weeks of wasted time and energy and lost opportunity from stressing about what to do. Clarity for my client could mean focused action in the most effective direction so they hit financial targets far quicker. Just like driving lost and asking for directions, it doesn’t matter how long you have been lost, the directions make all the difference, they don’t take long to receive, and you get to your destination.

So there you go, hope this helps! Get unpacking!

Are You Sabotaging Your Self Confidence? Little known secret…

BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT 101 – INNER GAME

Confidence is essential in business development – your customers buy certainty, no one buys uncertainty.

 

But how to get it? I’ve discovered a little known secret of how we are sabotaging our self confidence. It’s like a cancer that no one is talking about. Fortunately it is quite easy to cure. Check it out and let me know what you think.

Who is this for: those that tend to break commitments to themselves and recognise they need greater self confidence in an area.

CLEAR Business Development Steps – Part 2

Part 2 in the CLEAR business development planning system is ‘L’ – what are your target Customers (identified in Part 1) looking for?

Not what you want to sell them, what do THEY want to buy? And why? Successful business development requires us to regularly walk in our customer’s shoes and appreciate what they are looking for. Part 2 helps us check-in, reflect and counter our bias wanting to sell what we have and what we believe they need.

LOOKING FOR?

What are your target Customers, that you have decided you want, looking for throughout their journey in searching, assessing, buying, and using your product/service?

You want to create raving fans because word of mouth is by far the cheapest and most common lead generator in any kind of business.

What are your Customers looking for specifically?

Not just shallow stuff, I mean the deep and meaningful stuff. The emotions of using or buying your product/service, the core drivers such as pain points they are wanting to eliminate. And any new innovations or trends they might be aware of. The clearer you are on this the more your message and marketing actions will hit the right buttons. Leads and conversions will increase.

How to Identify What the Customer is Looking for?

To succeed in business development you MUST be in-tune with your Customers needs. And it’s an ongoing process. You never stop seeking to understand your customers.

The fisherman that doesn’t pay attention to the lack of bites, change in preference of bait and where the fish are moving to doesn’t eat!

Here’s a reminder of some of the ways you can confirm what your customers are looking for and I can help you identify suitable strategies and the format:

  • Brainstorm ideas on a whiteboard with the team, especially those talking to your Customers a lot. Segment your Customer’s experience down into it’s stages and list the things they are looking for in each stage – and review if you are providing them.
  • Ask them when next speaking with them. Can be a casual question or more detailed discussion over coffee, lunch or brainstorming session with their team.
  • Suggestion box on your counter – make sure staff encourage Customers to fill out the form and keep the form really simple.
  • Online survey or post purchase survey. Keep them short! No more than 5 questions. It is important to design your surveys well otherwise they won’t tell you anything useful. I can help you if you need.
  • Testimonials – notice what your customers say they liked! This is gold and gives you great insight to what they valued. Make sure you weave this into your marketing copy.
  • Read. make sure you stay up to date with your industry and where it’s going. Subscribe to online forums, newsletters etc. Take note of what the trends are overseas because this can give you a competitive advantage if you are one of the first to introduce a new feature/service/product here in Australia.
  • Attend conferences, tradeshows etc.

Make a list.

Then make sure you are covering these features/feelings/benefits in your marketing material, website, emails, conversations, POP displays, newsletters etc.

WOW FACTOR – where’s the WOW?

To create raving fans that work for you as your marketers and sales team, you need a wow factor. It’s not hard! Or expensive. Often just the simple little touches add the wow factor. I was standing in line for Christmas and a shop assistant was handing out bottles of water – not expensive but was a welcome jesture and made me feel significant as the customers. Remember one of the six core needs we all have is to feel ‘significant’. I love the fact with Uber I don’t have to pay cash or take a card out of my wallet and go through that process of tapping, waiting for the machine to connect and approve payment, waiting for the taxi driver to print his receipt and then print mine.

What can you do to add some wow? Something worth talking about?

Knowing what your Customers are looking for will help you identify a wow factor. Is it an easier way to purchase, a thank you note/gift, a follow up call, an easier delivery system, a simplified booking system, better labeling, better presentation, better Customer service…?

January is a great time to touch base with Customers and ask them what they’d like to see you provide in 2017, or what they’d like improved. The trick here is to encourage them to suggest anything, regardless of what they think your limitations are. Customers have a preconceived idea of what you can provide…right or wrong.

If you need help coming up with a wow factor, let me know.

_______

So there you go. Steps C and L in the CLEAR business development planning strategy.

Identify your Customer and identify what they are looking for and make sure you are not just meeting but exceeding their expectations. And make sure you are covering what they are looking for in your marketing.

Next step is Earnings. What you want to Earn and how. I’ll cover that in Part 3.

CLEAR – Business Development Steps – Part 1

Love this time of Year! 🙂

I’m enjoying a nice morning with no work pressure, a great coffee, birds singing and it’s not cold or too hot. I find this time of year is such a great time to start planning 2017.

If you are wanting to do some strategic business development thinking for 2017, I’ll be sharing a few tips and strategies over the next couple days that will help. And as always, PM me or email if you have specific questions.

Step 1: WHERE’S YOUR DEPARTURE POINT?

It would be absurd to go into a travel agent and say,

“We want to go to New York…can’t confirm which airport we will be departing from…but can you tell us your best deal and route?”

First step in planning your #businessdevelopment is to know your starting point. Second most important step is to know where you want to go. I find many businesses are good at knowing the target, the destination but fail to reflect on the starting point. Therefore their strategies are no where near as effective as they could be.

You may have read my CLEAR business planning acronym in a previous post.

  • Customer
  • Looking for?
  • Earnings?
  • Actions required?
  • Responsibility

Checklist for the priority topics to cover as a minimum in your planning.

The CLEAR business development system is quick, simple and helps you cover the essentials and identify your starting point as well as where you are going.

Customer

Who were your best and most profitable customers in 2016? Make a list. It helps the brain process data when it’s on paper because you only have so much RAM (working memory) in your computer-brain to hold ‘stuff’ and think of new stuff.

Typically a business has around 3 different core customer types. Generalisation but I find most businesses will have the ‘B’ customers, the ‘bread and butter’ customers that are steady, always there and generate a large portion of revenue. Bread and Butter B customers keep the cashflow going, keep the business machine oiled.

Then there are the ‘A’ customers that are Awesome and buy big and pay well and are profitable. They tend to be less frequent or less in number, but still essential.

Then there are the ‘C’ customers that cost you time and money to service. You know the ones. 🙂 They might be Cocky or Complainers and take a lot of your time. Remember, you CAN’T buy more time! once gone it is gone. Therefore what would be more beneficial to your business…to spend time on the A and B customers or the C’s? Every 20mins with a C customer is time you could have been wowing an A and B customer so they become raving fans and recommend you to more A and B Customers.

Get clear on which customers you want more of and the percentage mix of A and B and C customers.

For example, I’m a big fan of working less and earning more. Therefore I recommend:

1. Reviewing the ‘C’ customers you need to cut loose. You can do this by raising the price of the current deal they are attracted to or currently on. They will leave of their own accord…and you will be grateful! One of the best ways to increase productivity and profits is to reduce your C customers.

2. Look at what you are doing, saying, promoting to attract the C’s. Fix it!

3. Look at your own thinking. It all starts with you and your thoughts. This can be a harder one to tackle and identify and you may need my help. Do you believe you only deserve C customers?

Now you have cleared up your plan for the C customers, estimate your current number of A and B customers (preferably on paper) and decide how many you want to have in 2017.

I suggest 3 month goals. For example:

By March 2017 I have 5 A customers, 15 B customers.

By June 2017 I have 8 A customers, 27 B customers

etc etc etc

I’ll end here.

In summary, get clear on where you are starting. Identify your current customer mix. Make a plan to reduce your C customers. Set targets for the number of A and B customers you want.

In Part 2 I’ll cover the CLEAR step of identifying what your customers are looking for.