Do you really know what you're selling?

Posted on:10. 05. 2010

By Cliff Findlay

Do you really? Well, obviously you know your own products or services, but do your customers? Over the years we have noticed two very distinctive (and incorrect) ways in which businesses take their offering to market and end up losing out on a lot of potential sales

1. Selling too many products or services:

Too often we meet companies that sell anything and everything just to get a buck. Their reasoning tends to be that ‘if we cover all bases we stand a better chance of attracting clients’ or ‘if they don’t buy this service maybe they’ll buy that one instead’. This is great in theory, but what it’s actually doing is placing your company up against other businesses that focus on being highly specialised in just or two services. So in the client’s mind, you’ve become the Jack of all trades compared to the competition, who are  clearly specialists in their field. Offering too many different services may also confuse the client and can put them off making a decision. In their minds not making a decision and looking elsewhere then becomes the best decision.

The Answer:

When was the last time you looked at your profit and loss and the time it takes you to win a client from a particular service? Is it worth getting rid of slow selling products/services and focus on increasing sales in areas that are already doing well and/or will provide you with the highest returns? Has your message become confusing or generic and are there too many ways of interacting with you? How much more money could you earn if you streamlined your offering and products and only won the type of business that would give you the best returns? And would this change the key message of your company and would it benefit your approach to market?

2. Selling features

There are still companies out there that believe that it is all about them. That if we tell you what services we offer, how jolly brilliant we are, how long we have been going, what our ethos is, what our team looks etc you will be sointerested in us you’ll simply have to call. They still haven’t understood that as a potential client I really couldn’t care less about you. It’s all about me, what I want and what I need. There is a good time to tell me all about you – it’s when I ask.

The Answer:

Look at your messaging from the client’s point of view and consider their ‘pain’. Can you describe the actual benefits behind your products/services and tell me how your business provides the solution to my problem?  Could this potentially impact your sales team and how they sell? Could it revolutionise the way you talk to potential clients?



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