Generating high quality sales on a regular basis can be either really hard and stressful or really exciting and enjoyable. Sadly, for most businesses, making frequent high calibre sales is a struggle. It’s easy to see why, when you look at what they do.
They make life as hard as they possibly can for themselves, by replicating what their competitors are already doing!
How to make sales the HARD way
Then, they market this service in the same way as their competitors. The net result is that AT BEST, their service seems just the same as all the others!
For example, there are over a dozen, equally-qualified law firms in my local area – but I could not give you one valid reason to pick one of them rather than another! In fairness, the same could be said of most service providers in most areas.
How to make sales the EASY way
To regularly generate high quality sales, you need to start by putting all the odds in YOUR favour! You do this by:
1. Offering the marketplace something it wants.
2. Being the only provider of this product or service – so there’s no competition.
Break away from the pack
To achieve sales success in a competitive industry, it is essential for you to break away from the pack and design your business and marketing around what the marketplace wants.
Most businesses wrongly assume that because their competitors are doing things in a certain way, they should too. However, as we have seen, when you follow the pack you simply blend into the background. How do you break free from the pack and ensure you are moving in the right direction?
Listen to your marketplace
The first thing you need to do is identify a genuine need within your marketplace, which is either not being serviced by anyone or not being serviced correctly. Most businesses will listen to their clients and the prospective clients they meet and then use this tiny, unrepresentative group to base their picture of the marketplace on. This is too small a section for you to accurately read what the market for your services REALLY wants from a provider.
If you want to make the right decisions, you need to listen to the needs of the wider marketplace. This is where all your future clients are, after all.
Fortunately, this has never been easier, thanks to the Internet! From the comfort of your desk, you can find out what your prospective clients are worried about and what problems they have. Armed with this information, it’s easy to spot opportunities for your business.
Remember, whatever industry you are in, you are always a professional problem solver. If you are a dentist, you solve the problem of tooth-ache – if you are a web designer, you solve the problem of ugly or poorly-functioning websites etc.
How to get all the information you need
Without doubt, the fastest and least expensive way for any small or medium-sized business to learn what their marketplace really wants or needs, is to follow their marketplace ‘online’. The best way to quickly collect all this information, 100% free, is to find some blogs, websites and forums that your marketplace read / comment on and then READ THEM!
The easiest way is via RSS (you can find out about RSS here.)
For example, let’s assume Bob runs a commercial insurance brokerage and he specialises in working with hotels, based within a 100 mile radius of him. He would subscribe to the RSS feed of each blog in his area, that’s focused on the hospitality industry. He would then take time to read the questions that hoteliers ask in these blogs, as this is a good way to learn about their concerns or problems.
Bob could also start his own blog and use it as a way to communicate with the marketplace. Unlike a website, a blog allows you to have a dialogue or conversation with all your readers and everyone can join in. This is a superb way to get the essential feedback you need and to learn what your marketplace wants. By the way; it’s also very effective as a way to make new contacts.
Bob could also use his blog to share useful resources with his readers, so they start to think of him as a problem solver; giving him a massive competitive advantage over his competitors.
Creativity and marketing
Once you learn the problems and challenges facing your marketplace, you now need to get creative! You need to either think of a way to adapt one of your existing services, so that it solves these problems or you need to create a new service.
For example, I did this exercise with one of my clients a while ago. He owned a successful accountancy practice and we found that in his area, local businesses were crying out for a professional lunchtime networking event. So, we developed a free networking event every month and the results were stunning. Not only did he manage to generate stacks of new clients and contacts through these events, he found a second, even more valuable benefit.
When he or one of his staff met with a potential client, because they were the only practice in the area offering this free facility, they were seen as the accountants who not only ‘did the numbers’ – but helped their clients make money too! This set them apart from all their competitors and led to some amazing results.
Is it time you broke away from the pack?
Whatever area of business you are in, you will always find it hard to win new clients or make more sales, if you are replicating / repeating what your competitors are doing. Find out what your marketplace really wants and then focus on delivering it in the most effective way possible. It’s a lot easier to make sales when your product or service is the answer to a problem, that no one else in your area / region is solving other than you.
That’s how to make sales the easy way!