While we live in a world where we can leverage online advertising to attract clients and customers, one of the most overlooked methods of growing a business is face to face networking. Networking face to face has several advantages over online advertising with the primary one being personal relationships. [Read more…]
Do you think your market is overcrowded?
This past weekend I was at Brendon Burchard’s Expert’s Academy where entrepreneurs, coaches, authors and speakers learned how to position themselves in the marketplace as an expert. If you were to look around the room you would have noticed a very large percentage of women in the room. After speaking to quite a few of them, I noticed a pattern, many of them were coaching women in one capacity or another. [Read more…]
One of the questions that you will hear from time to time is “Do You Have A Plan B?”. The notion of having a backup plans means that you are expecting that you might fail in whatever your current endeavor is. Let me ask you this, if you were going to jump out of a plane, do you jump with absolute certainty your parachute is going to work? Or are you going to come up with another plan to land on the ground if that doesn’t work out? Of course not! You are going to want your chute to work, and if it doesn’t you have a spare. The point is you have a single strategy to get to the ground safely. Nowhere in the process would you say “I’ll just get back into the plane and get to the ground another way if my chute doesn’t work.”
In business, it is a necessity to have certainty in what we are doing if we are going to achieve the success we desire. When we have this level of belief in what we are doing, do you need another plan? Of course not!
So how do you create absolute certainty in what you are doing? Read on..
Do whatever it takes to win!
If you believe for an instant that the road to success will be full of roses and all fun times, you need to wake up and smell the coffee! There will be many long nights, moments of frustration, and simply times when nothing goes according to plan. However you must be willing to work through all of it. You have to persevere through all those tough times to reach your destination. If someone told you that you would earn $1,000,000 if you successfully completed a marathon 30 days from now, would you do whatever it took to make sure you could cross the finish line? Of course you would, so why wouldn’t you tackle your business with the same fervor?
Burn the boats!
As long as there is a safety net you will always play things safe in life. You must be willing to move forward with 100% certainty that you will succeed. If you left your corporate job to create a business for you and your family, what must you do to ensure that you will NEVER go back to what you were doing before? Mentally, as long as you know you can go back to what you were doing, you will not do whatever it takes. You must have mindset that the only way to succeed is to move forward as going backwards would mean certain failure. The pain of going backwards must be so intense that it compels you to move forward. Imagine a raging forest fire behind you, and the only way to safety and paradise was to keep moving forward. If you knew a raging fire was behind you, would you attempt to go through it to get back to the life you had before? Of course not!
Watch the short video below for additional thoughts on why you must burn the boats
So do you still think you need a plan B? Or do you believe that you need to have absolute certainty in what you are doing to achieve the success you seek in life?
When it comes to growing your business there are only three ways to achieve this. One of them is to increase the frequency that your clients and customers do business with you. This by far is one of the easiest methods to increase your business as they are already customers. The biggest expense for a business is acquiring new customers. So it is only logical to leverage the buying power of your existing client database to increase the amount of business they are doing with you!
There are multitudes of methods to increase the amount of business generating from existing clients, but we are going to focus on 3 strategies specifically.
Client Appreciation Events
Sometimes the simplest of gestures can make the greatest impact in the lives of individuals. This is where hosting client appreciation events comes into play within your business. By hosting an event, you are able to bring clients into your business that might not have been there for a while.
As an example, let’s say you are a car dealership. You have a client appreciation event for your clients involving bouncy castles, food trucks, etc. You even tell your clients to bring a friend. If they haven’t been in the dealership in a couple of years, and get to see the new vehicles that are available, how many of them do you think might be interested in upgrading?
Client appreciation events provide you a method to increase top of mind awareness in person. Any time you can have face to face interaction with clients, you can increase personal rapport far beyond what is possible online.
For most businesses, email marketing is an afterthought or it’s something that is not utilized on a regular basis. Or email is utilized as a method to send offer after offer to their database, which ultimately results in customers ignoring their messaging.
To leverage email marketing properly in your business, you must use it as a relationship tool. Look at the world around you, how many marketing messages are your customers exposed to on a daily basis. If you are not maintaining top of mind awareness with them, you will ultimately lose out to your competition.
Using email properly requires you to think about it in a different manner. Think of email marketing in the concept of dating. If you offer nothing of value to a man/woman how long do you think they will remain in a relationship for? Probably not very long. The same goes with your email marketing strategy. You absolutely must offer value in your emails.
Another key factor you must keep in mind when it comes to email marketing is earning the right to ask for the sale. If you never offer anything of value, and simply ask for the sale, how many people do you think will buy from you. However, if you consistently provide valuable content to your subscribers, do you think they will feel compelled to buy from you on a regular basis?
Look at your email strategy and evaluate how much value are you providing on an ongoing basis.
Customer service is by far the most critical component when it comes to increasing your business. Customer service ultimately forms the impression that your customers have of your business.
When you look at your newsfeed on social media, how many times a day/week do you see someone either raving about the customer service they received, or warning friends to stay away from an establishment.
Because of social media it is imperative that every business has a solid customer service plan in place. Not only to ensure that your customers have the best possible experience, but how you handle any issues that arise.
Remember, you want your customers to have a raving experience with your business, so they will in turn tell the world via social media.
Take the time to evaluate these areas of your business. The more you utilize each of them properly, the more you will ultimately grow your business.
Do you know what value you bring to the market?
This is a question that many business owners in the world simply are not able to answer. When you look at your business, do you feel as if you are simply going through the motions? Do you feel that what you are offering is just like the “other guy” down the street? If you answered yes to either of these questions, then it’s time to take a look at how you are positioning yourself in the market, beginning with your value proposition.
What is a value proposition?
Your value proposition is simply what value people assign to your products and services that you offer. The key to having a successful value proposition is that it is higher than what you ask from clients in terms of their investment. The value your business provides can be an arbitrary value, as it will depend on timing and what specific problems you are solving. As an example, if you just finished running a marathon and you saw a water station at the end of the race, what value do you place upon the water station? Obviously if you are thirsty, it is near priceless. However, if you were trying to sell water next to a public water fountain, what’s the value? Obviously in this case its substantially lower because of the environment.
Understanding what problem you solve.
Clarity in your business is one a key factor in attracting clients, and ultimately generating referrals. Compare the value between a handyman and an electrician, which of the two will earn more per hour of their time? The electrician will because they have a clearly defined value, as opposed to the handyman which is not as defined. When you look at your business, what is the specific problem you solve that people will seek you out for? The more clear you are, the easier it will be for prospective clients to understand what value you provide.
What benefits are you providing?
Always remember that people buy benefits, not features. If there is ever any doubt, ask someone why did they buy their current vehicle. More often than not, you will find that a particular benefit stood out to them. Some of the benefits may be more apparent than others, but the benefits will be there. As you look at the products and services you offer, what benefits are you providing?
When you provide benefits that resonate with an individual’s belief system, you will have a combination that helps position you above and beyond your competition. These are key components of your value proposition. The more people believe in you and your product, the higher the value they place upon you. What level of belief do people have in your business?
You vs The Competition!
In most industries you will come across people that provide similar services as yourself. It is your duty to position yourself in a manner that makes you stand out in a crowded market. You absolutely must position yourself in a way that compels people to choose your services over others because it is the only logical choice.
When everything is equal in the market, it’s the value YOU bring to the marketplace that will make you stand out. At the end of the day, people are investing in people. It is up to you to give them a reason to invest in you vs your competitors. What are you doing on a daily basis to convey your value, to give them a reason to invest in you vs the competition?
Do people know what you stand for?
One of the simplest ways to convey your value and stand out in a crowded market is to take a stand for what you believe in. We live in a world where people are afraid of offending someone. If you try to be everything to everyone, you will end up being special to no one. It is absolutely imperative that you decide on what you represent in the market and plant your flag.
Planting your flag will let people know what you stand for, what you bring to the market and what you will not compromise for. Look at the number of businesses that are willing to do anything to generate business. As an example, look at Apple. If you want a product from Apple, you buy it in one of the few ways that they deem appropriate for their brand. There’s no negotiating on their prices because they know the value of their product.
Let’s compare this to brands such as HP, Dell, Lenovo, Samsung, etc. How many times do you see their products on sale at your local electronics store? Practically every week. How many different models do each of them have? There are products to sell to every type of consumer from low end to high end.
It is up to you to decide what value you bring to the market in your business. When you understand your value, you can quickly create your value proposition and ultimately attract your ideal client to your business.
Take a moment and write out what value you specifically bring to the market in your business that’s different than the competition. Once you’ve written this out, share in the comments below what your value proposition is.