If you’re in a service based business it’s so tempting to promote a broad array of services you can deliver to try and win customers and sell more to them.
I understand the logic – more services means broader market scope which means bigger target market and should mean more customers.
But often that will end up winning you LESS customers.
You’re not focussed on what you’re best at. Customers don’t want to hire mediocre. They want to hire the experts, or at least the rising talent!
Ok, so now you know, what can you do about it?
Find your niche
Rather than review the market for gaps to add new services, find your niche and excel in it.
Ask yourself “What would I win an award for? What can I do better than most others out there?”
This is your niche. That’s where your business should focus because it’s where you can be the most credible, deliver the most value and build the most value in your brand.
Don’t worry that someone else is already offering the same service as you, if you’re good at what you do and have the right strategy for building trust with your target customer, you’ll find it easy to bring in the business.
Change your sales pitch
During my corporate career in marketing, I fielded hundreds of calls from agencies wanting to pitch for business. I rarely agreed to meet with any unless I was genuinely looking for a supplier, for example, someone to provide SEO services.
99% of these meetings followed the same format: a long boring presentation about their agency, their way of working, their vision and lots of fancy slides about all their service offerings.
What they didn’t get was that I wasn’t interested in everything.
All I wanted to know was whether they could help me with my current problem (SEO) and if they were awesome at it.
I didn’t want to hire someone who said they do SEO but really it was just an idea they had to generate extra revenue streams and they’ve got someone called Matt in their web team who says he knows a bit about it.
[Tip: it’s a terrible experience to be subjected to a long-winded recital of a business’ services, (or product features) if you aren’t interested in them. This could make or break a sale! Instead make sure you are only presenting what the customer is interested in. If you don’t know what they are interested in, you shouldn’t be presenting, you should just ask them questions to get the info you need.]
So I usually stop them during the presentation and ask “tell me what you are BEST at, what would you win an award for?”. I want to know if I am wasting my time or not.
If they aren’t best at what I am looking for, it’s better for both of us to stop wasting time in the meeting because I won’t be signing that contract!
It’s amazing how many people can’t answer that question, or won’t. Because they want my business no matter what.
But servicing someone with a mediocre offering is not going to do your business any good.
Deliver on your promise
Even if your customer service is good, your reputation will be damaged through a poor experience on performance.
When I have experienced sub-standard work from any supplier, I simply end the contract and look for a better one.
On the flipside, when I have been impressed with the quality of the work and their relationship management approach, I am quick to recommend them to others.
So, why waste your time and effort selling services that you aren’t the best at? Leave them to someone else, focus on what you do best and become the leader in that field.
Become a recognised leader in your field
What happens when you focus on your niche?
You can deliver top quality work.
Combine that with a laser focus on relationship management, and your customer experience will be outstanding.
When your customers are happy they don’t look to leave, and you’ll benefit from long, healthy relationships.
Your brand reputation will grow through word of mouth, new customers will seek you out and you’ll grow your business without needing to spend much time or money on marketing.
But, I hear you say, customers don’t want hundreds of suppliers, they want to consolidate to make their business admin easier.
That is true to a degree. But not at the expense of mediocre performance.
I know from experience it ends up much more hassle to manage a poor performing supplier than to add new suppliers who are each experts in their field.
Increase your revenue and your profits
Bottom line is that it’s about your bottom line.
When you are best at something you can also command a higher price. More money for the same time spent means bigger profits.
However don’t scrimp and save on areas that can improve your customers’ experience.
Hire the best talent. Find the best technology that can make life easier for your customers – does it integrate with their systems? Is it user friendly? Can you help them to manage it?
Now, plan your expansion!
Once you have mastered your niche you can look at scaling your business.
Look at how you can extend upon your core service with add ons, or add new target customers.
Your existing customer base knows and trusts you to deliver quality, so ensure you only choose to deliver services you can achieve that same level of quality.
Focus your brand promise on your niche to deliver the best value and experience for customers. It will help you retain customers for the long term which is the key to business success.
Still struggling to figure out what YOUR best strategy is for your own business?
Maybe you would benefit from some advice to help you nail down your strategy.
Did you know that I offer private coaching services to a small number of business owners? I can work with you to define/ refine your entire business strategy and create a smart marketing plan to grow your business.