Thinking about starting a business? Everyone will have advice for you about business plans, plans and more plans. Here are my sales tips for startups!
Forget planning and start doing!
Strategy only exists when there is action! Having coached start-ups, I know they often spend lots of time on planning and forget one vital ingredient… to get out there and talk to their prospective customers. You have to develop a way to describe your business that is easily:
- Acted upon
And you can only work that out by engaging with your clients. Here’s how …
There is only one radio station that everyone listens to…. WIIFM. What’s In It For Me.
Businesses and professionals often focus on what they ‘do’ and not on the impact for the client. Example: Accountants ‘do’ the Tax Accounting, and to their clients, this means they are up to date with the Tax Office and where possible, decreasing their tax payments. To do this – just add a few words at the end of what you say. Build a Feature – Benefit – Value statement.
We do <feature statement> which gives you <benefit statement> and delivers <value statement> to your business / to you.Our servers have RAID 5 (feature), which reduces the risk of losing your documents (benefit), which means you can sleep better at night knowing your business is safe (value).
It is about always framing your answers and examples to address the client’s needs and fears.
To be able to tune into WIIFM the first job is to listen.
You need to listen and ask questions so that you get to understand what your client wants (both logically and emotionally) and what problem they will pay you to solve. Use this information to build a WIIFM Process for your business:
- Promise. Tell people what your product and service does for them, the feature, benefit and value.
- Prove. Use proof to show that you have done this before for others. Do this by citing experts, explaining your processes, providing testimonials and case studies. This builds credibility.
- Picture. Help the client picture how your product or service could help them. A useful phrase that I often use here is:
“… and what this means for you is ….”
Example: This is a red car ….. everyone knows that red cars go 20.3% faster …. Everyone who has bought read cars from me have told me … and what this means to you is you will be able to get where you want more quickly.” You don’t have a business until someone who may be a customer knows about it and wants to buy from you. So get out there and start listening and engaging with your potential clients. Don’t wait — do it today!