People do business with companies that follow best practices and provide them convenience, making their lives easier. When customers know that they can count on a particular business to properly service their particular need with efficiency and effectiveness, they become loyal to that business. The thing that attracts people to these sort of businesses is the value they provide.
Value is the worth people associate with a product or service. Value can be low or high – just remember that whatever value your business is given is how people come to view your product or service. This is why you want to be sure that not only are you effectively communicating the value of your product or service, but you are also producing said value consistently. Understanding the Best Practices and providing value separates successful businesses from mediocre and failing businesses.
You would not believe how many businesses there are operating without understanding the value they are providing to their customers. Either they have no clue or they do not even care about providing value – they are just in business to make money. But you cannot make money without providing value and no, value is not the features of your product or service.
If you were to be asked what value your business provides, would you have an immediate answer or would you have to think about it? If you have to think about it, then your business is not operating at its full potential. There is no way it possibly can because you do not even understand how to communicate your value to your target audience, so you do not have a consistent customer base.
In order to have a business that is successful and constantly growing, you need to be able to demonstrate the value provided by your business. But before you can do that, you must understand what it is your target customers need and want when it comes to the product or service you provide. This is the only way your business can truly provide value.
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Discover the Problem that Exists
Before you can even communicate the value that you provide, you must understand the problem that your target market is dealing with. They are willing to pay to remove issues that are causing them constant frustration and sleepless nights. They want real solutions and it is your job to provide these solutions.
You can discover the problems that your target customers are dealing with by asking the questions and doing the research.
The best approach is asking direct questions. You can do this by having focus groups, calling the customer, or asking via social media. Answers that come directly from your target customers’ mouth is the best information you can receive. They are telling you exactly what they want and how they want it. This eliminates guessing and getting it wrong – creating products or services that are not wanted.
By asking direct questions, you are provided with the knowledge that will help you develop the products or services that will be purchased without hesitation. However, before you can move forward, you must know the problem thoroughly so that you can provide a solution that is the absolute answer.
Example: You are a personal trainer. You hear that your competitors’ customers are not happy with their personal training sessions. You call them to ask deep questions about why they are unhappy. The answers you receive include basic training sessions, not seeing the results, uninspiring trainers, etc. Taking this information, you are now in the position to provide the personal training sessions that people will actually enjoy and be more willing to commit to.
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Explain Why the Problem Exists
Now that you know the problem, you must provide the details of why it exists. This is about digging deep into the problem and finding out the conditions and settings that provide the problem with the ability to exist.
This can be:
- The bad actions that are being taken by people
- Broken systems or processes
- Bad communication
- Outdated products
Whatever it is that you find, you must communicate this to your customers. This lets them know that you have done your homework to truly understand what is the cause of their suffering.
Example: A sales training company is having a problem selling their training packages to organizations. They request your consulting services to determine their problems. After listening in on their phone conversations and in sitting in sales presentations you discover the problem. The team is too focused on pushing the sale, rather than understanding the exact needs of the customer. Instead of listening to hear and understand, they listen to reply. You inform them that their bad communication skills are the cause of their failing attempts to sell their training packages.
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Provide a Tested Solution
A problem must be resolved with a solution and not an answer. An answer is just short-term relief that eventually wears off. A solution is a long-term provision that produces better results.
When providing a solution, you want to ensure that you are covering every single aspect of the problem. You do not want any issues to occur that call the effectiveness of your solution into question. This will be very damaging for your company, making it hard for you to gain a consistent flow of customers.
You have to make your solution so effective that it cannot be denied. Test, test, test! Test your solution on a small group of people before expanding into the marketplace. Find out what works and what does not work so that you can fine-tune your offering before making it available for purchase.
Example: You are a content strategist and you have developed a product that you believe will be a solution to your target customer’s content problems. Before going full fledged and putting it into the marketplace, you have a group of content experts test the product to learn its strength and weaknesses. They report to you the problems they have found, giving you the opportunity to further develop your product before letting customers purchase it for themselves. You have not created the perfect product but your solution is pretty good, receiving positive reviews from nearly all.
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Explain the Value of Your Solution
No matter how good your product or service is, you still need to explain its importance to your target audience. Even Steve Jobs acted as the master salesman when Apple was introducing a new product. This is because he knew the importance of selling value. If he wanted his product to sell in large quantities, he needed to make it sound like the most innovative product ever produced.
You must do the same when it comes to your products or services. Explain in detail the value that is being provided so that people understand its importance. No, we are not talking about the bells and whistles, all products have that. You need to explain how you are providing a product or service that makes the life of your customer more enjoyable. Explain how a problem is being eliminated or an experience that is being provided that they never had before.
You have to have an excitement about your product or service that it is hard to contain. Now the excitement of your customer is building up and they cannot wait to purchase your product or service for themselves. As you have their attention, provide them with the details that they will love to hear.
When explaining the value of your product, follow this guideline in order: communicate the problem, explain why the problem exists and provide the solution. This will make the explanation of your value much easier to communicate.
Example: You are giving a presentation to a group of investors about the product you have developed. Instead of focusing on what your product does, you focus on what it provides. You explain that it helps to alleviate the stresses of business owners so that they can focus on the money making activities of their business, rather than the stuff that does not make money. The solution you are providing is having business owners focus on growing and developing their business, i.e. being a business owner rather than an employee of their business.
Explaining the value of your business is much easier to do when you understand the problem you are solving. When this is known, you understand how to communicate the pain points of your customers, making them feel like you are right in their shoes. This helps to develop the connection needed to create a customer. People buy from those whom they trust. Trust is developed by providing them with the solution that takes away their problems.
If you are struggling with communicating the value of your product or service, you need to determine the exact need that you are servicing. You might be open for business but you are not operating an actual business. A business is one that understands its marketplace, the customers it serves, the products and services it provides and the value it provides to its customers.
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