This is article three of a continuing series on starting your dream business. I’ll walk you through a quick process to help you tell me (and your other potential customers) what you are selling.
You should be looking at me as a potential customer. You should look at everyone you meet as a potential customer.
It took me years to look at the world this way.
Think of it. If you have something great that you are offering, why wouldn’t you tell everyone you know about it? Why not shout if from the highest mountain? If your service is really great, transformative, useful – which we all want our services to be, then why are you reluctant to tell people about it?
There are generally three reasons that we hold back.
- We’re afraid of what people will think.
- We don’t know how to explain what we do or deliver.
- We don’t know exactly what we are selling.
This post will talk about number 3, because without knowing exactly what we are selling, we could never explain what we are going to deliver.
It’s probably because YOU know that you can make a difference, but you haven’t figured out how to explain it in terms that makes the other person think, “I have got to try this!”
To find out exactly what you are selling there is one easy way to do it and a couple of harder ways to do it.
First – the easy way. Ask people that you worked with what they get out of their interactions with you. Do they feel happier, more peaceful, more organized, more motivated, inspired to act…? If you have already worked with a few clients or have a few customers, ask them for testimonials. The testimonials from my clients tell the story of my business and the benefits of working with me much more clearly than I can make up a sales pitch. You’ll notice my site has testimonials on each page. I also use them when developing my sales pages.
Here’s a sample of a sales page. You see how testimonials tell much of the story.
So – that’s the easy way.
Now the hardest way – sit by yourself and look at your business. Think about your customers. What BENEFITS do you offer to them? As a customer I don’t really care too much about how much schooling or training you have had, as long as you can make me feel better. If I need surgery, I’ll check your credentials, but if you’re a coach or a healer and have skills or products, I don’t care if you have 2 years of experience or 20 years. Remember, we’re selling BENEFITS, not skills or credentials. While credentials and training are important to get your foot in the door, what people are buying is the benefit. People work with me because it helps make their lives or businesses work better for them. The may have found me or contacted me because I went to Stanford or sang at Carnegie Hall, but that’s not what convinces them to buy. Remember – this is the hard way. We all tend to focus on our skills and training, rather than the results that we offer. That’s why I recommend looking outside yourself for assistance here.
So, what EXACTLY are you selling?
What do you do AND how does it make your customers or clients lives better?
Because, at the end of the day, if your customers don’t feel better about their lives or businesses after their interaction with you, they won’t be your customers for long.
And now, the intermediate version. If you don’t want to ask people what benefits you offer them or don’t have any testimonials YET, take a look on the internet for people who have similar skills and see how they sell them. Look at people that you respect. How do they present themselves? What are the benefits you feel from working with them? Then turn it around and see how your business benefits your customers.
Good luck with this – work with a few people, ask your friends and look for the next post on preparing your elevator pitch.
p.s. – I do read and appreciate your comments – I’d love to hear your opinion on this stuff. 8)
Thank you so much, Ned! I had the wonderful opportunity of being in your 8 week class several months ago. I especially love your “Welcome Back” and “Checking In”. I just came upon this tonight and I again heard (REALLY HEARD) that we need to just start! I’m now listening to: YOUR NOT ALONE (On the replay on Healing With the Masters) It’s exactly what I needed!
Hey Carolyn – glad you’re doing well. Thanks for the update!