Have you identified the top HOT BUTTONS of your prospects?
This article will reveal why pinpointing, understanding, and addressing your prospect hot buttons is so important to the future growth of your business or practice.
It’s every small business owner’s job to identify and define the most important hot buttons that top their prospects list. You must identify the top things prospects want from your business that leads them to look to you for a solution to their problems, frustrations, fears, or concerns. The smart small business owner will list all of their target customer’s emotional components, and then select JUST the one that resonates the most with their passion. This means selecting your specific niche market.
All of your prospects today want to feel special. They want to feel as though they’re working with “the expert” and that you can help them solve their problems, concerns, fears, and frustrations for good. They’re tired of look-alike, sound-alike businesses that all offer the exact same product or service that for the most part doesn’t even come close to giving them what they truly want. In other words, they’re desperately looking for a business that stands out from the crowd, and one that’s truly unique.
They want a business that understands them, gives them what they want, and in the process, offers them exceptional and extraordinary value. Moreover, if you provide them with such a business, they’ll reward you by gladly paying you a higher price for what you sell, as long as the value you now offer justifies the price they pay.
Furthermore, prospects want you to communicate with them in a loud, clear, and easily understandable voice. They want your message to clearly communicate to them that you are different and you do in fact offer exceptional value. They’re tired of searching for these types of businesses, and they will appreciate your clear, concise message that doesn’t play games but instead highlights the benefits you provide specifically for them. The business that stands out from all others by becoming unique, offering exceptional and extraordinary value, and clearly communicating those benefits to their prospects will literally dominate their entire niche market.
For instance, perhaps one of your New Year’s resolutions is to get in shape. If you call 10 personal trainers looking for one to help you add lean muscle mass, and all of them tell you they can help you do whatever you want, such as lose weight, add muscle, feel better, or have more energy, then they’re trying to be everything to everyone, and as a result, have become nothing to no one.
On the other hand, if you call me, and I tell you that I specialize in just one thing, which is helping people over 40 add 10 pounds of lean muscle mass within 30 days through a specialized, proven, and tested workout program that only I provide, then I have just separated myself from all other trainers. I’ve made my business unique and simultaneously created massive value to these individual prospects that are specifically looking for this type of trainer.
All that’s left is for me to effectively communicate that message to my target prospects, and believe me, they will come running!
P.S. Are you a small business owner that has participated in the Running of the Bulls event?
As someone who has studied in and traveled across Spain, I like your style and I want to reward you for your sense of adventure and courage…
Just email my PR and marketing fulfillment team about your experience: Press@RevSherpas.com
And in return, we’ll share with you our latest Small Business Growth Training video series entitled “The 3 Biggest Lead Generation Mistakes Small Businesses Make… And How To Overcome Them All!”
¡Buena suerte mis amigos!
People only remember the extraordinary, strange, wild, surprising, and unusual. You need to make sure your ideas and marketing reflect these reactions. This doesn’t mean you have to have a product or service that is completely out of the norm, though. In fact, this could easily drive customers away. Instead, you need to have a product or service that is high quality and easily marketable. Then, you need to market it as extraordinary and new.
How and Why to Conduct Word of Mouth Market Research
As you’re researching Word of Mouth (WOM), there are some questions you need to ask along the way:
- What are your customers/users willing to tell the non-users?
- Exactly how do your customers describe your product?
- What are the non-users willing to ask the users?
- What are the things they need to know, but are unwilling to ask?
- What happens when these issues are raised?
- Exactly what do your prospects have to know in order to trigger a purchase?
- Exactly how do your customers answer the objections, concerns, and qualms of your prospects?
- How do your customers persuade their friends to use your product?
- How do your customers suggest they initially get to know or try your product?
- What warnings, safeguards, tips, and suggestions do your customers suggest to your prospects?
- Are your sales messages, positioning, and important facts about your product getting through and surviving Word of Mouth?
- What messages do you need to inject into the marketplace in order to turn the tide in your favor and how will you deliver them?
There are two main reasons why Word of Mouth research is so important:
- To get the real impression and feedback from customers.
- To define Word of Mouth itself and the concept it creates.
There is a simple formula that can help you conduct your Word of Mouth research. It’s called the “2-2-2” model.
The 2-2-2- Model
What this breaks down to is:
- 2 groups of customers
- 2 focus groups of prospects
- 2 mixed groups (enthusiasts & skeptics)
In these groups you need to ask the following questions:
- What would you tell a friend?
- How would you persuade a skeptic?
- What questions would you anticipate from a skeptic?
- How would you answer their objections?
The best way to conduct these groups is by teleconference. This ensures you’ll get a good variety of demographics for your customers and potential customers. It also allows people to feel safe and more able to express their true feelings. These teleconferences should not be conducted by you, but rather by an independent party to avoid adding pressure to the situation.
The Pillars of a Well-Crafted Word of Mouth Campaign
Now, we’re going to transition a bit and talk about how to construct a Word of Mouth campaign. First, we’ll take a look at the essential ingredients you need to put together a campaign. These ingredients are:
- A superior product
- A way of reaching key influencers in your marketplace
- A cadre of experts willing to go to bat for you
- A large number of enthusiastic consumers
- A way of reaching the right prospects
- One or more compelling stories that people will want to tell to illustrate your product’s superiority
- A way to substantiate, prove, or back up your claims and how the product will work in the real world
- A way for people to have a direct, low-risk experience, a demo, sample, or free trial
- A way of reducing overall risk and an ironclad guarantee
Once you have those ingredients ready to use, you should consider the situations in which your company can benefit from a strong Word of Mouth program. Some of these situations are:
- When there are credibility problems
- When there are breakthroughs
- When there are marginal improvements
- Where the product has to be tried in large numbers or over time
- Where there is a high risk in trying the product
- With older or mature products that have a new story that people tend to ignore
- With dealing with unfair competitive practices, such as spreading rumors or telling lies about your product
- When there are governmental or other restrictions on what you may say or claim directly
While most of the Word of Mouth tactics are positive for your Word of Mouth program, there are a few products to avoid using in this program. They are:
- Products where a seminar would not provide meaningful added value
- Products that can’t be tried and where there is no consensus among experts
- Products that are clearly inferior, without having a compensating superiority for similar products
- Products that are so personal or emotional that rational discussion is irrelevant to the decision
- Products where the decision value is so small (e.g. low price/low volume) that the medium will not be cost-effective.
This wraps up this post on Word of Mouth research and how it can be used when formulating your Word of Mouth campaign in route to earning more raving fans.
If you need help with this type of marketing research and a proven, polished plan to more effectively leverage its results and enhance your Marketing messaging and ROI, take a quick, guided tour of our Small Business Growth Academy and E-Marketing Platform.
There are five critical mistakes you can make that will kill a deal with any client, big or small…new or existing. They are:
- Not meeting the client’s expectations.
- Mishandling a client crisis.
- Taking on more than you can handle.
- Putting all your eggs in one basket.
- “Up cash creek without a paddle.”
Each one or a combination of these can not only kill the client relationship but also have the ability to take down your company as well.
Over our next few blogs, we’ll drill down into each one of these. In this lesson, we’ll cover the first two.
Not Meeting The Client’s Expectations
It’s essential you give your client exactly what you promised during the negotiation portion of your sales cycle. If an event does happen where there is no way to meet the client’s expectations, not only do you have to find a way to fix the situation, but you also have to uncover where it all went wrong.
A couple of matters could have contributed to this problem:
- Bad salesmanship
- This could mean the salesperson was trying too hard to seal the deal and didn’t listen to the client’s needs. We all know this unfortunately happens a lot.
- Lack of communication
- This breakdown occurs between the salesperson and your service operations department. This event occurs more than you think. Inevitably, the sales rep gets blamed by the client and internally, but that is not always fair. Many companies need to improve their onboarding and transition management processes to ensure the new players in client service or the implementation team are up to speed on the client’s primary objectives and ready to properly support the new client even though they were not involved in the sales pursuit discussions like the salesperson was.
In order to avoid these mistakes, you need to put a clear plan of action into place that all of your sales staff needs to follow:
- Think before you speak.
- Give yourself a break.
- Perfect your process.
- Pre-format over-deliverables.
- Stay hands-on throughout the entire process (both internally and externally).
- Define success.
- Don’t vanish once the deal is closed.
Mishandling a Client Crisis
A client crisis will happen, but how you respond and fix it will define your company and set the tone for future interactions with your clients. You need to respond quickly and effectively. This will help you gain even more trust and confidence from your client.
Some simple tips can help you deal with any client crisis:
- Take responsibility and apologize to the client no matter who is at fault.
- Act swiftly and effectively.
- Step in, connect the dots, and take control of the situation.
- Never point fingers or place blame.
- Stay in constant communication with your client.
- Stay calm throughout the situation.
- Keep your eye on the ball.
Now, that you know the top two mistakes you can make to destroy a top-tier client relationship, you’ll know better how to avoid making these mistakes in the first place and know how to put a plan of action into place in case of a crisis.
Next time, we’ll talk about the 3rd and 4th killer mistakes you can make in working with your upper echelon clientele.
Lastly, if you’re not already following our RevSherpas content across our various social media channels, you should be!
It’s a great additional way to stay in touch with us, further conduct your due diligence (if you’re not already a client), and most importantly, get free access to cutting edge business growth strategic thought leadership for free!
Each channel has its own “personality” or theme and distinct posts. Updates are not duplicated across the channels and new material is added consistently. For instance, our Twitter account is heavy into CRM Solutions and Customer Experience Improvement and Innovation Strategy. Whereas, our Facebook page is more into Leadership Development and Productivity Tips. It’s intentionally meant to be a change of pace and often incorporates advice from legendary coaches and athletes…if you’re a big sports fan (like we are), you’ll really enjoy that site.
Please check them out and follow us or connect when you get a chance.
In the last post, we covered negotiating with your big fish and how to nurture and build on the relationships you are creating. Today, we’ll explore the power your fish has and how to utilize that for your benefit.
One of the most important aspects of this is to keep your cheerleader cheering. This refers to the champion you created in the company. He or she needs to stay loyal to you so you can continue a profitable partnership with your fish. You can keep your ally going by offering or doing a number of things to show appreciation. Examples include:
- Share the limelight.
- Help them thank their company with new products and services.
- Emotionally connect them to your company.
- Know when to leave them alone.
- Keep your “family” happy.
- Stay on the front lines.
Now that you have some ideas on how to build solid relationships, you need to seek out people with whom to cultivate these relationships. These alliances will help you get bigger clients that stay with you forever. You can often get in the door by offering them something in exchange for something they need, such as:
- Better work experience
These are all great ways to feed your alliance. Additionally, you need to go into a relationship considering the things a big fish can offer you besides money. These can include:
- The opportunity for your business to expand.
- The opportunity to learn from the experience and find ways to grow.
- The opportunity to improve your processes, systems, and other means of doing business.
These are some of the best ways to keep your alliances going strong and your partnerships fresh and content.
Lastly, thank you for your continued readership of the RevSherpas Growth Academy blog and for diligently following along our blueprint and extended case study and blueprint for pursuing, landing, and partnering with the big fish.
Don’t forget to also follow our other blog on our main company page, too!
Continuing with our case study of how to land the “big fish,” we are now about to enter our first face-to-face meeting with the “Larger than Life” prospect. First, there are a few things you need to do and consider to be as prepared as possible:
- Make a list of what you want to accomplish during the meeting.
- Anticipate potential concerns from the prospect.
- Check to make sure you are completely prepared.
- Listen more than you talk.
- Bring support staff with you.
- Use and respect the prospect’s format.
- Always follow through.
- Ask for what you need and seal the deal.
- Simplify your prospect’s life.
- Find ways to boost your credibility.
- Build and nurture relationships.
- Learn from “no”. Find out what didn’t work so you know how to change it for the next time.
These are all important things to do both before and during your presentation. With confidence behind your company and product, you will catch that big fish.
The next step of the process is negotiation. This can seem a little intimidating, but with a few tips and tricks, it can become natural to you.
Here are some tips to help you negotiate successfully:
- Build a pricing strategy and stick with it.
- Prioritize what you plan to offer. This should include what really matters to you and what you are willing to give in on.
- Don’t give in too quickly.
- Negotiate with a person, not a “company”. Don’t let their answer be that they would like to, but can’t.
- Don’t sell yourself short.
- Mitigate your pricing. If you go to low you won’t be able to raise it back up and you need to make a profit.
- Don’t sacrifice quality for the deal.
- Your services should always count as costs.
- Boost margins with add-ons.
- Handle requests for proposals (RFPs) with the utmost care.
These are the ways you make sure that both parties are getting the best possible buying experience and outcome from the partnership. Once you start meeting or working together, it’s important to continue to build your relationship so that that the representative becomes a big ally of yours. That way, he or she is more likely to vouch for you and build on the partnership you have with their company.
We like to call this person a “champion.” They are a champion for your company and can bring a stronger, brighter future to your company. Typically, a great champion exhibits the following characteristics:
- Respected by supervisors
- Socially networked
- Thinks in the best interest of the long run of her company
- Able to quickly navigate through the company to get things done
- Willing to give credit to another person
- Shares the same business philosophy, values, and vision as you
Now, that you know how to negotiate for what is best for both parties and leverage that relationship with your champion, we’re going to talk about how to best use your fish’s power to your benefit.
If you need help with any of the negotiation or courting processes, take a look at our RevSherpas Growth Academy E-Learning Marketing platform to get access to a wealth of great tools and resources to help you grow your business and be more successful. Many consider it to be an “MBA in a box” and there is no other offering on the market like it.