If you’re feeling frustrated with the results of your sales efforts, don’t give up; try creating more value. Of course, value will be different for each type of business. Your job is to determine what it is and how you can provide it.
Adding free bonuses and extras is a common way to add value. Barnes & Noble built its online business quickly by offering free shipping when Amazon.com did not.
An accountant friend added the service of setting up and training on the client’s accounting software making it painless for the client and much easier to obtain needed information for taxes and reporting. It was a win-win and many clients saw the value.
Depending on your business, you might include free upgrades for your software. Maybe add a complimentary financial assessment for a new investment client. Or a free car wash with an oil change. Consider where you can add value at little or no cost to you. The objective is to get the commitment from the customer. Once a customer they are a prime candidate to buy more if you have provided value.
Consider adding a new “value” service. Listen to customers and prospects. If you see a pattern of inquiries you may have an untapped market, just waiting to be filled.
Make note of things people have asked you for that you don’t currently provide…but could provide.
A colleague who sells training in how to generate leads kept being asked if her service included performing the work for which she was training. She had said no to three inquiries when she realized there was a real need for someone to effectively provide these services, not just the training. By listening to what her market really wanted, she was able to open a new division of her business and have three clients immediately. Yes, she had to hire someone to help her, but she built that into her price structure.
Maybe redefining or renaming what you offer will make a difference in how a prospect perceives its value. They may not be buying a “weekend retreat”, but will be interested in an “intensive training” on a critical or timely topic.
I am working with a Pilates instructor who has developed a unique approach to performance. Through her additional training in other modalities and her years of experience, she can define and rename her services as performance enhancing to athletes, entertainers and corporations.
Packaging can make a difference, too. It’s all about perception. A clearly presented message of value is part of the packaging. Make sure your promotional material reinforces the value. Small and short-term commitments are attractive packages right now.
Some people are reluctant to buy services by the hour, so maybe a flat fee for the whole package would be more attractive. Can your service be broken into segments with specific benefits achievable by segment? If your basic product is high cost or requires a long lead time, consider offering a smaller version or breaking your service into logical segments and selling them sequentially. A smaller financial commitment might be enough to get the sale.
A colleague was having trouble selling her 6 week program. So I suggested she repackage it as a 2 hr. intensive with follow-up options. She found it was much easier to get commitment for 2 hours and $250 than for 12 hours and $1,500. Her challenge will be to create enough value to encourage a large percentage to continue with the program.
Sometimes what’s needed is a target market shift. It’s always good to ask the question: who else might find value in what I offer. You may have to repackage your product or services to fit a different market, especially if your former target market is shrinking.
When a communications consultant found that the corporate market had dried up he chose to sell his services to laid-off executives who wanted to increase their odds of getting the job they wanted. In the same arena, an executive recruiter has opened a division of her business offering services to candidates seeking executive positions.
When you’re looking for ways to make more sales consider how you can create more value for the buyer. Keep your ears to the ground and listen for the cues that you will get from customers, staff, colleagues, providers and the media. Find the hidden value in your product or service and bring it to market.