Business and prosperity
Most projects fail because the mission is not clear. Like building a house this part is critical and the part which many business owners rush through. Perhaps this was you. You felt that because you can feel the buckets of passion inside of you it is a ‘done deal’. On the contrary this is where everything starts to go awry.
If I asked you what your business is you may say it’s “art, meditation, books, stationery”. It is not! What you have just described is your process and the part your customers are the least interested in. However that is the aspect you may be trying to sell customers and that’s one of the places everything goes pear shaped.
In order to know who your customer is you need to have established your mission, your product or service. Have you been targeting everyone? Perhaps you have been frustrated at the lack of sales compared to your huge investments of time, money and energy. The customer is actually the easiest because you are one!
In order to promote you have to put your self in the shoes of a potential customer. This is where many business owners fail simply because we can be blinded by our passion for our ‘baby’. We are consumed by passion for the business but we forget a potential customers isn’t… yet! We fail to say what we need to in the right way.
Mission: You have passion but is it communicated?
It is true that you, as a business owner are a warrior of epic proportions. You are courageous, determined and responsible. It is no coincidence that you burned to start a business. It is important to have things in clear perspective, you were not here to find something to do, you are here because you have a specific mission (an assignment). Your mission is so specific that if you don’t continue to fulfil it the world is at a loss. There is something that you want to fix in the world. There is either a situation you see people in… or something you hear or see… that you are so impassioned by it you could almost slap them. You are angry, real angry. It is fine to feel that way (by the way).
That drive is a compelling feeling from your spirit that is doing what it needs to do to push you to solve it; this is why you started the business. However, don’t let this mission become vague or watered down just because you see opportunity. Opportunity is everywhere but your assignment and those you are assigned to are specific. So here is the big question, what precisely is the problem that you are here to solve? It must be defined clearly. Instead of thinking I want to sell books, I want to teach meditation, I want to help people become happier… ask what is it you see happening in their life that is not happening now that you are driven to fix! Clue: it will be an obsession. What will be about to change or what experience are they going to have when they have paid you money. Define it.
Product: Why exactly am I going to give you money?
Most often, business owners who are not getting marketing advice are selling the process as opposed to the benefits. It is important that whomever is writing sales copy or responsible for advertising knows precisely the benefits of the product you are selling. Once the benefits are clear then it is easier to know who your market is and where to find them because you know their lifestyle traits and where you may find them.
In order to help you understand the benefits, imagine a typical family, let’s even focus on Sarah a mother who has two young children (one at school, one at home), a husband who is out the door early and back late. Money is tight and of course they are busy. Imagine your product and ask yourself, what exactly will it do for Sarah, how will her life improve because of your product. It is important that the customer actually pictures the end result in their life as you describe your product.
For example, if your business is meditation, selling a picture sitting down meditating is not going to cut it with Sarah. Imagining sitting down in a chair being quiet is too weak an image to get her to focus any further – she doesn’t want to ‘meditate’, she wants her life to improve! Sarah can’t imagine finding the time to just sit there when her schedule is (in her world) already full. If on the other hand you tell her that she will start to notice that the noise of little Johnny and his noisy train set is fading into the background and doesn’t bother her any more… now she can FEEL the benefit of the product and can probably start picturing herself fading out hubby’s football programmes aswell!
Customer: Your product is not for everyone!
If you have read my book Self Discovery you will now understand that connected to your anointed gifts (which hopefully is in alignment with your business), there are people specifically assigned to you. There are customers waiting for your product and there are as many as can make you fabulously rich! There is always a tendency when you are passionate about something to assume that because your product or service provides a benefit, everyone should be interested. This is absolutely not the case.
One of the biggest mistakes in businesses is trying to sell to many more markets than your product is designed for. In fact, you may have already noticed that the people closest to you who you thought would be interested, aren’t? Let your frustration go once and for all, they were never destined to be your customers. Again, your success depends on how clear your mission statement is and how clear your benefits are.
Always remember the golden rule that you are selling to people who want your product, not people who need your product! My husband helps people with their health and weight management. Although he has many people contacting him who want to lose between 20-60 kilos, inevitably these are not people who actually buy and prospect themselves as customers; his customers are actually people who want to lose 5 kilos and less.
A person prospects themselves for your product by their activity. For example, the person who has 30 kilos to lose probably doesn’t know how much she weighs because actually being lean and in shape is not priority… whereas the person who calls and says I want to lose 3 kilos knows they are 3 kilos over their normal weight because they weigh themselves daily… why? because they care about being in shape. Think about the habits of your ideal customer and advertise at places where they are proving they are serious. Also think about the price of your product and who will be living at that income level… where do they go, what do they read, what other items might they be buying.
Promotion: It’s not about you!
When it comes to promotion, it is made much clearer and simpler once you have spent time on the other marketing factors which define your business. When working with entrepreneurs and business owners, it has been devastating to see so much potential burned away because the owner is not thinking about the customer and is focused too much on what they ‘like’. I have been involved in producing short videos to promote businesses and am shocked at how often business owners insist on including things which the customer has absolutely no interest in… such as ‘keeping the logo… including the QR code… keeping purple because I like it!“
If you have business online then it is very important for you to understand that just because your business is digital in terms of access, the principles of buying behaviour is not different… except that you have their attention for less time.
Test your business
It is also crucial that you ask someone you consider a potential customer to go through your business buying process from advert to receiving delivery so you get to hear about any places where potential customers are hesitating, hitting problems and not buying. You can be absolutely shocked at some of the most simplest of steps which hold up a customer and stop them buying.
New Book Coming!
I am in the process of writing “Self Discovery for Your Business which will be coming out shortly. The book helps you SEE CLEARLY what your business is dying to tell you (maybe literally) about where to look for fundamental problems in the fabric of your business processes that you just didn’t see. Please sign yourself up on my newsletter if you would like to be notified when it is released.