Like many other small business owners, we understand the constant dilemma with NEEDING to sell products or services but that awful feeling of being an icky sales lady. This business is your livelihood and you have to succeed to support your family. A steady stream of income is necessary to sustain your business and keep paying your bills. But right now, you need to stop what you are doing because selling isn’t going to work for you or your business.
Idolize Your Perfect Client/Customer/Partner
Many people get weeks, months or even years into their business before they ever take a step back to analyze who is their ideal client. They are more focused on selling to a warm body, than the right one. You might be willing to jump at the opportunity from every client that approaches you. Despite what it may feel like, quality clients are so much better than quantity. We love taking a good hard look at finding our ideal client, our our Muse, to truly get to know her. We’ve got a fun worksheet for you to do the same that you can download (free)! You’ll notice that we take it a step further than the typical “where do they live” and “how much money do they make” questions. We want to know what our client loves, believes in and supports. The further in-depth you can get with this the more you will be able to speak directly to her and have her shaking her head yes! Take a step back and analyze the following:
- Who do I want to work with?
- What are they looking for?
- What are their goals?
- What drives them?
- What daily problems do they face (in life and work)?
- What skills do I have that can solve these problems?
- What are their beliefs and ideals?
Give this ideal person a name and even grab a photo online (or better yet pick up the phone and interview potential clients to find an actual person) that showcases the muse you have defined. In the process of answering the questions above you may notice multiple “ideal” clients. Separate them out and write about all of them as if they are separate people. Write a narrative about this ideal customer(s). Imagine you are with them, writing about how they use your product or service. What struggles do they face during a typical day? How can you be their solution?
Demonstrate Unique Value
At the core of your business, there is something driving you. You and you alone have something unique to offer. You are different from everyone else. You have important qualities to bring to the table. How can you differentiate yourself from the crowd? How can you showcase that your brand and business are different from all the fuzz that clouds our vision? Try answering the following questions:
- What can I offer that is completely unique?
- How can I package it as a product or service to best serve my clients?
- What are my differentiators?
- How can I give my client a taste of what I have to offer? – Is it a sample? Is it free advice? How can I give or show this in a different way?
- How can I be authentically myself?
Ultimately you must utilize the power of demonstration. Perhaps your market is an online store, but so far all you have done is create your products and put them online. “Build it and they will come! - Wrong!” You have to give someone a reason to come to your site. Perhaps you tell a story about yourself, or the craftsman behind the product. Maybe you give a taste, by offering them a free product (if they pay for shipping). Or maybe you showcase a customer who is absolutely in love with what you have done for them. You are solely responsible for demonstrating worth.
It doesn’t have to feel like a sales pitch. You are literally just showcasing to someone why what you offer is worth a monetary value. There are endless ways you can demonstrate this and that way should be just as unique and interesting as the product itself.
Position Yourself & Create Desire
Positioning is a tricky business. Typically, people jump to listing their resume and qualifications. No one cares! We still have to remind ourselves. We get it. Instead, you have to show them why you matter and what you can offer to help solve their problem. Showcase examples of your work – both past and present. You want them to be envious, not in the greedy angry way, but love what you do so much that they want to be your best friend, your right hand woman or your confidant.
Give your clients an inside look into your business. Not only does the transparency lend itself towards trust, but it shows them that you are willing to share your knowledge for the benefit of all parties. Just like you fell in love with that Kate Spade purse, your client should be ogling over you. Sure this doesn’t happen overnight, but overtime they become raving fans.
For Think Creative Collective, we are using our blog as our #1 positioning tool. It has opened so many doors and we are so glad we have made blogging a large part of my business model.
Whether you offer perfume or design services, baked goods or business consulting your products or services need to be solutions. They need to be driven with your ideal client(s) in mind. Never start a conversation, whether online or in person, with a sales pitch. Ask your clients and customers about themselves. Ask them to relate to your offering. Offer them solutions. The sales will follow.
How can you retarget your products or services to be more solutions oriented?