Are Your Clients Buying What You a€™re Selling?
9th May 2012
... Comments


Linda felt like she had reached a plateau in her cleaning business.    For
the past 3 years, she'd run the same ads in the same publications with the
same results.    She would generate enough new clients to make up for the
ones she lost due to normal attrition, but she was never quite able to get
beyond her mediocre success.


"I feel a little stuck," she shared in our last call.  "Every time I try
running another advert or send another mailer, I only generate enough new
work to make up for the additional cost I've expended.  I can't hire an
additional employee until I get more work, but I can't seem to get more
work.    I really want to make more income for myself and my family and
think I could do it if I could just get some of these new marketing
strategies to work out." 


My next question threw her  -- "What are you selling?"  "What do you mean?
I'm selling cleaning services," she responded.  "No, what are you REALLY
selling?  Or look at it this way, what are your clients buying?" 


It took a couple more rounds before she understood what I meant.  Many
service business owners run out to the marketplace without a clear
understanding of what they are selling or what their clients are buying.
After a while, they start getting clients by the sheer fact that they've
approached enough people to generate some interest.    The problem comes
once they've reached a plateau and can't seem to grow beyond it. 


It's like golf.   Anyone can learn to hit the ball and, if given enough
strokes, get it in the hole.  They can even become pretty good ... but only
sometimes.  The rest of the time, they are hooking or slicing
uncontrollably.    They never play a consistent game.   The key to success
in golf is technique.  If you do the right things consistently, you’ll play
a good game every time (well, almost!). 


In business, it’s the same thing – you need to do the right things
consistently.    Almost anyone can learn how to make a sale.    It might not
be in record speed or at a profit, but they can make the sale.  The key is
in being able to generate sales consistently up to and beyond your plateau.


Linda thought she was selling cleaning services, but upon closer
investigation over the next couple of weeks, she learned that her clients
were buying something a lot different.  Based on surveys she conducted with
her current clients, she learned that they hired her because they were

§    more time to spend with their spouse & children 

§    a clean house (not the actual "cleaning" service) 

§    time for themselves & their personal interests 

§    stress relief for taking one thing off of their plate 

§    marital bliss (no more fighting over household responsibilities) 

This was a light bulb moment for her.   She realized that her ads and
mailers were selling a "cleaning service" when in actuality her prospects
and clients wanted to buy a solution to their problems – not enough time,
fights with their spouse, harried lifestyle.   If she could provide the
solution to just one of those pains, she would be serving her clients well. 

Then presto, chango, switcheroo! – she re-focused her marketing efforts to
focus on solving her prospects’ problems and began targeting overworked
professionals and families with children.  These simple changes helped her
finally grow beyond the plateau where her business had stalled. 


So, ask yourself -- are your clients buying what you’re selling?    What are
you currently selling?   If you contacted your clients this week, what would
they say they are buying from you?    Are you sure?    Why not jot down a
few questions that you can ask your clients during short, phone surveys this


Don't have enough clients to do this yet?    Perhaps you can work it into
your conversations with prospects?  Ask them why your service does or does
not sound like something that will benefit them.     Yes, I know this is
hard, but the answers are your ticket to faster success.    Afraid to do
this?   Then it's even more important!    Trying to sell the wrong thing to
the wrong people is just extending your learning curve and the length of
your journey to sustainable success.    So go for it! 


Best wishes




Liam Thompson  



PS        And finally, I thought I’d share with you a couple of quotes that
I came across that I thought you would like: 


            Always give people more than they expect to get. Nelson Boswell

            Because their purpose is to create customers, every business has
two - and only two - functions: marketing and innovation. Marketing and
innovation produce results. All the rest are costs. Peter Drucker



PPS     Remember, we will gladly add your key contacts, targets and
customers to the ProActivity programme - if you want us to. It’s a great way
to add value to their businesses - and strengthen your relationships with
them. And, of course, it won’t cost you or them a single penny. Simply give
us their contact details with their permission of course and we’ll do the



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About the Author

Christopher, Lynne &

Member since: 9th July 2012

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