You know what your products do and how they do it, but do your potential customers know? Do they know what your solution enables them to do? And most importantly do they know how to put a value on it. If your potential customers can not put a value on what your product will give to them, they will probably think it is too expensive.
The 17 steps described below can be undertaken by your self, but it is recommended that you have a professional facilitator present. Our Creating Compelling Content has used this process with tremendous success. They will help you through the brainstorming exercise, and more importantly they will keep you honest.
It is also a very good idea to have production and support specialists at the session as well. The reasons being; with the production manager to ensure that you are building and creating the right products and services. With the support manager who will have got great feed back from customers who buy what you provide.
Set up a room, with a scribe and a large whiteboard or flip-chart and proceed through the 17 steps.
What has worked in the past?
You will need to have the following information at hand during the session. While the list may seem daunting, please try and have as much information as possible.
A list of all customers
For each customer you need to identify
- What they bought
- The value of each item
- The margin on each item
- A testimonial and/or value statement from those customers
- Where they are geographically based
- The industry they are in
- Their size and turnover
A list of your competitors and information on their products
An industry specific magazine that your best customers would read
A print-out of the Mission statement of your best 5 customers
Follow these 17 steps for amazing results
- Clearly define what your product or service does – List at least 10 things
- Now for each feature, list clearly the problems or desires that are addressed by each of these items.
- Match your list of solutions with those of your competitors – Identify at least three unique solutions.
- Using your customer demographics, and any other market research, clearly articulate your target market – the firms that you will sell to.
- Now identify who in the organisation will benefit the most having these problems solved.
- Define what people in each of these positions will be enabled to do, once you have helped solve their problems.
- Now put a value on the new capability that your customers will get. Use any testimonials you may have. If you can not do this, you will need to go back to your customers and ask them. Sometimes the value may be intrinsic such as desire.
- How long does it take for the value to become apparent or measurable?
- What is the status quo of your prospects? In other words, what are they likely to have in place right now? Remember that, the status quo is your biggest competitor.
- List reasons for people to act. Examples might be a competitor’s accounts package, not able to handle changes in the budget, or an approaching holiday, like Christmas.
- List at least 10 industry specific words that are common in your “Target Market’s Industry” – these would be taken from the industry magazines and/or the mission statements.
- Using the three solutions that you identified in step 6, rewrite them for each of the positions identified using at least 3 of the industry specific words.
- Now add a quantifiable benefit to each solution – how much does it save? How much extra revenue will it generates, how much further will your drives go? Etc.
- Now add the length of time it takes to achieve this goal – after 5 minutes, in three months, in one day, etc.
- Create 3 headlines that have each of the 3 key elements above. Then create a 3-4 line subhead that explain them in more detail and could be interesting for your prospects.
- Ensure that all of your testimonials have one of the three marketing messages included in them.
- Once you have created your marketing messages as above you will need to Test, Adjust and Measure any lead generation campaigns that use them.
The resultant message that is created can be used as part of your lead generation program. 3R Sales and Marketing has created a follow-on program, known as ADSPORT. This program, will more than double the number of qualified leads coming into your business, without necessarily increasing your market spend, and in most cases reducing it.
Finally, if you would like to learn more and discuss your own particular situation, whatever business you are in, give us a shout on or register for a free business health check – maybe we can help you.
This article was written by Peter Lawless, founder of 3R Sales and Marketing – www.3r.ie. For previous articles like this, visit 3R’s Articles. Alternatively, subscribe to Success our free monthly Information Bulletin with sales and marketing articles.