Monday, August 4, 2008

3 Quick Steps to Create Your Business Stimulus Package!

You should be VERY glad you are in a position as a business...nimble and able to adjust to what clients need at this time. Now more than ever you can’t afford to lose sight of the driving force of your sales opportunities. If you plan to survive and potentially thrive you have to stay relevant to your customers and make it easy for them to purchase your products or services.

So here we are…halfway through 2008. Are you wondering if you are going to make your revenue goals? Trying to read the mind of your prospects? Or maybe you are like many that cross my path, still doing the same thing you have done in the past…just working harder and expecting different results.

3 quick steps to create your business stimulus package:

  1. Evaluate your offering. Are you still offering the same old packaging of 2006-07? Are your customers balking at the dollar amount or length of time projects take? If you are in a position to adjust your offering, I have some suggestions to keep your product or service in demand.
  2. Generate better quality leads. Wait a minute…before you respond “I know, I know!” Let me give some insights to do this more easily.
  3. Keep yourself motivated! Quit working with people who cost you time and money. Selling can create an emotional rollercoaster. You can’t afford the ups and downs at anytime…especially in this market.

Make it easy for prospects to buy.
What are your customers buying from you? How can you make it easy for them to say yes without dropping your price? Think about how you might repackage your products or services to make it easy to buy, while increasing the value and profitability. What does this look like?

  • If you are a service provider, it might look like an “economy package” that utilizes some templates to deliver your services.
  • Learn to reduce your time per customer by offering a valuable service at a level that gains a quick economic return (for your business and your prospect/clients/customers).
  • If you sell products, you might create a bundle of products and services to create the same result above. Or consider adding a higher margin item to your bundle increasing the value for the buyer and you.

Buyers are shopping for value. Right now prospects are shopping longer to make sure they get the most bang for their buck. You probably are too. Consider testing your packaging with an “introductory” offer. You don’t have to be married to the package forever. Just test the results. If it works, keep doing it. If not, adjust your packaging. Ask your customers for feedback and find out what your market wants from you. You will be glad you did.

Want more quality leads?
Rethink your ideal customer. The market has changed. Who can you serve doing what you do well? This may mean letting go of some prospects so you can focus on those who have a budget, a need, and can see a return on investment for what you offer. To get more leads in general, you need to visible in one way or another to this group. Who are they and where do they show up, what do they read, listen to, etc.? What are ways you can be in front of them? Network, advertise, partner with other service providers, etc.

To help you focus, ask yourself:

  • Who do I serve that might be in a growth industry? i.e. health, baby boomer transitions, etc.
  • Are there customers in my database who could benefit from buying more of me or my services?
  • Have the psychographics of my ideal client changed? Values, motivators, character qualities? If so, what are they? How can I connect with my prospects on this level?

Review your partnerships. As you rethink your ideal customer, consider who also serves this market. What kind of joint opportunities might you create? Have fun! For example, my ideal clients need PR but do most of it themselves. I am partnering with Nancy Juetten to offer her famous Publici-Tea™ in our area. This gives me another great resource to offer my prospects that complements my service offering. This gives my clients more of what they need to generate business growth. Idea for you…partner with your local non-profits or Chamber and add needed services and value for your community.

Be your own cheerleader!
Keep yourself motivated. Selling your business products or services has its ups and downs but now…even more so. Between the media, your network, and your customers, you hear enough bad news to really bring your spirits down. So what do you do? You put on a happy face, remind yourself this will pass…and fake it till you make it, right? The problem is that is only skin deep. Your contacts sense your lack of authenticity and it subconsciously seeps out your pores.

A bad day costs you. Almost more than the time you lose, consider the energy it takes to pull yourself back up from the dumps. This can be far too costly. Here are a couple of suggestions to keep you UP!

  • Keep track of past successes.
  • Save the handwritten compliments you receive and review them often.
  • Hang out with people who are moving forward.
  • Create your own support group. Not to commiserate but for accountability and encouragement.

While this unusual market place brings both unique challenges and opportunities I challenge you to utilize this market as launch pad for growth and change. You can not only survive, but thrive by paying attention, staying relevant, and continuing to make it easy for your customers to see the value of your offerings. Offer them simple and valuable ways to business with you. I guarantee you will create growth for your business by better serving your market.

In the meantime, network strategically!

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