Your value prop is an important part of your business identity. It’s probably pretty likely that your very best clients know what you do. But how do you communicate that crucial information to the people who DON’T know you?
It’s probably pretty likely that your very best clients know what you do. They know what you’re good at. They know what your strengths are and perhaps most importantly, they know they can trust you.
But how do you communicate all that to the people who DON’T know you? The people you’ve never met. The prospects who have never heard of you.
In a lot of my training materials, I talk about the idea of turning total strangers into paying clients, and how, as a salesperson, that’s not just a good idea. That’s the job!
It’s not something we have to be able to do occasionally, it’s something we have to be able to do all the time. Because before we can ever sell to someone, we first have to create awareness.
That’s the Marketing Part of the Job
In the early days of my promotional products business, things weren’t going very well. I’d get together with my accountant every 90 days or so and we’d do a post-mortem on the numbers. If you’re not familiar with that term, post-mortem is latin for “after death.” It’s another term for an autopsy. It’s an examination of a dead body to determine the cause of death. That’s what our 90 day meetings often felt like.
It took a long time for me to realize that I needed to be looking at my numbers far more often than every 90 days, but that’s another story for another day.
In any event, after one particularly grueling look at the numbers, as my accountant was walking out the door, I said to him, “so what do I need to do to turn this around?” He just looked at me, smiled and said, “market, market, market!”
That was quite a statement, because it made me realize that at that point I knew little to nothing about marketing.
Like many business owners, I knew how to do the technical work of the business — sourcing and selling promotional products. What I didn’t know how to do was to find the prospects to sell to in the first place, or how to run a business that sold promotional products. And that was a significant problem.
If you’ve been in this industry for any length of time, chances are you’re good at finding promotional items for your clients, recommending promotional solutions and selling products. But if you’re not yet closing the level of sales you’re hoping for, it is very likely a marketing problem. Not enough leads in the pipeline and no discernable process for getting them there.
Which Brings Us Back to This Idea of Letting People Know What We’re Capable Of.
Before we can ever truly demonstrate our value to a client, by selling to them, we first have to let them know what we’re capable of. Because without that knowledge, they can never buy from us.
Yes, we need access to products. We have to be able to get clients what they need, when they want it. We must be helpful, accessible, available and knowledgeable. But all of these skills are essentially worthless if no one knows we possess them.
So how do you communicate your ability to the market?
Do you spend a lot of time creating Facebook posts that no one reads or responds to? Do you attend Chamber events or other networking functions where everyone is there to sell and no one is there to buy? Do you pick up the phone and do a lot of cold calling to strangers? And if so, how does that sort of communication position you with the prospect? As a valuable resource? As a solutions provider? Or just as a nuisance?
The basic skills of the job — being able to get clients the products they need when they need them — are expected. Everyone in this industry needs to possess them. So for that reason, we can’t count on those basic skills to differentiate us.
What is often unexpected, and as a result appreciated, is our ability to consistently create promotions that work. And we have to be able to do that better than our clients and better than our competitors.
We Need to Show Clients that We Are the Experts
It’s true that some of our clients already know how to create promotions that work. It’s also true that some clients will allow you to show them how to create promotions that work, and then act as if they knew how to do it all along.
That’s fine. The main thing is not that your clients verbally acknowledge you as the expert. The main thing is that they internally realize that you’re the expert and continue to utilize you because of that fact.
Ultimately, the vast majority of clients shouldn’t (and very likely don’t) know how to create promotions as well and as effectively as you do. In fact, if they do, that’s another problem all together.
But when your clients DO realize that you know how to create promotions that work, significantly better than they do, it makes you far more valuable to them. Certainly a lot more valuable than the mere “order takers,” product peddlers and online vending machines in our industry.
So demonstrate by your marketing that you’re different and demonstrate by your actions that you’re the expert.
If you need a proven, consistent, duplicatable process for introducing yourself to new prospects and clients — a system that sets you apart, positions you as the expert, allows you to have definitive results within 21 days without positioning you as a typical desperate salesperson — then I encourage you to take a full-year, risk-free trial of Top Secrets of Customer Acquisition. It’s my six step process for bringing new customers through the door like clockwork. You can get details on that at TopSecrets.com/tsca. Again, that’s TopSecrets.com/tsca. Or, if you’re a smart, focused, independent distributor doing a reasonable volume of sales and looking to take your business to the next level, join our AIM SmartEQP community by visiting smarteqp.com. That’s www.smarteqp.com. Thanks for listening. I’ll talk to you next time!