Are you addressing your prospective customer’s true needs? If you run a small business, you may think this is a dumb question. Doesn’t every budding entrepreneur start their enterprise on the premise that a certain need is wide open in the marketplace, just waiting to be filled? And having developed the skills to serve this need over several years, success of epic proportions is just around the corner.. only a matter of time?
In today’s hyper-competitive, attention starved business world, businesses need to re-think their offerings and determine if their offers are laser targeted and serve the market’s true needs. In other words, they need to improve their positioning!
I’ll give you an example from my own experience.
The Beginnings of my Business
As I mentioned in this presentation, I started my consulting/marketing business as a service provider, offering online marketing services, like web design/development, search marketing (SEO, PPC, and Business Listing optimization, etc), direct mail, and other recurring fee based direct marketing services.
Being a direct response/inbound marketer, I thought these services were exactly what jaded business owners needed. Most of my prospects had been there, done that, and hadn’t seen much in the way of results from their advertising through services like the yellow pages (online ad included – woot!), Val-Pak, newspaper ads, and the like . After all, good direct response marketing and consulting services are a completely different animal than that crap, and actually produce results for these businesses..
However, I quickly found that even though I offered far superior product, I was spending more time than I wanted prospecting for new clients. Most of my prospects had seen so little results over the years from their own promotional attempts, as well as the services they had used, that they had developed marketing company “blindness”, and quickly planned their “escape” from any marketing service pitch.
Not only that, but even when I secured recurring fee clients, they thought they were entitled to endless hand holding and almost daily updates on progress. Some of them were on my case several times a day.
At first I resented these clients and eventually stopped taking them on through the use of various indicators I would detect from initial conversations I had with prospects. But then I made an effort to put myself in their shoes, realizing that I’m very hands on with my own promotional efforts and have sharp eye on all my business expenses.
Something Needed to Change
So at this point, I decided that something needed to change. However, I wanted to stay in the same business, providing the same services, yet avoid the need to sift and sort through so many prospects before landing a client, or having to hand hold recurring fee clients.
That’s when I decided to provide home improvement lead generation services. This would serve both my needs, AND the needs of a LOT more prospects…especially the ROI focused ones that pay attention to marketing and other business metrics.
Improve Your Positioning
So by simply re-packaging my services, I was able to:
- Develop a much more sustainable, predictable business.
- Free up time hand holding clients, and their time needing to be hand held.
- Provide built in accountability to my clients.
- Satisfy the “real” need in my market by simply charging for results.
- Differentiate and put myself a cut (or ten) above my competition
I would encourage you to take a closer look at what your qualified prospects truly want, and think about re-packaging your services to meet those needs, and thus improve your positioning in the marketplace, the same way I did. Even if no-one else in your market is doing it, or if you think it won’t be well received by prospects—try it anyway. I find the more differentiate and position services as a truly unique offering, the more success I have with any business development activities I pursue.
The worst thing that can happen is a failed test. Best case, you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the response and possibly give your business a new beginning.