Every business owner wants to grow revenue. That’s a given. My question to you today is, “Why do you want to grow?”
Your reason for being in business needs to be about more than profit. Yes, there are personal dreams and motivations, but in order to hit your personal goals, you need to have a bigger vision.
My “why” behind Revenue Growth Engine is to help 10,000 great businesses double revenue so they can create meaningful jobs and give back to their community. I developed this “why” through 18 years of service on non-profit boards. I saw that the largest donations, the ones that really moved the needle, were coming from successful and generous business people. I want to help these companies grow!
What’s the “why” behind your business? If you want to grow, you need a meaningful answer to this question. I believe this is true for three reasons:
1. Because It Will Take...
If you want profit, value, and client loyalty, stop calling them customers and start treating them like clients.
I hate the word customer.
Customers go to vendors to buy commodities. If I want toothpaste, I go to Walmart or Amazon. If I want 2X4’s, I go to Home Depot or Lowes.
Clients go to trusted advisors to get value. If I need financial advice, I email my accountant. If I need legal advice, I call my attorney. If I have a security problem with my computer systems, I call my managed I.T. services provider.
Customers are price-driven. Unless you offer the lowest price, they are not loyal. They will drop you in a heartbeat for a competitor with a lower price.
Clients are value-driven. They realize that the value doesn’t just come from the product you sell. It also comes from the services you wrap around the product, the advice you give, and their overall experience.
Customers see you as a vendor. They have a list of...
Buyers don't buy products, they buy the outcomes products can deliver. (More on this.) Smart sales and marketing professionals always talk about outcomes they can deliver instead of the products they sell. Right now, there is one critical thing to realize: in this crisis, the desired outcomes just shifted.
Travel with me back to college. I think every course I took in business school talked about Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. The most basic needs are safety and then belonging. At the top of the pyramid are esteem and self actualization.
During normal times, the needs at the bottom of the pyramid are basically met, allowing decision makers to focus on the top of the pyramid. In personal terms, Maslow says we crave esteem and self actualization. In business terms, the corollary is that we want to improve our business.
Thus, during normal times, most of our messaging is around the business outcomes we can deliver at the top of the pyramid:
We’ve all heard the old saying, “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.” When it comes to business, the same could be said of value as well.
Value is in the eye of the beholder. In business, the “beholders” are your clients and prospects. How do you find out what your prospects value?
Over the years, I have written dozens of success stories. Before I talk with the client, I get the back story from the sales rep. When I do this, I will ask the rep why the client chose to work with them.
Nine times out of ten the rep confidently says, “Because we saved them money.” When I interview the client and ask why they said “yes” to the company, they usually rattle off a list of outcomes they are enjoying. Rarely do I hear a client say, “Because we’re saving money.” If they do, it is usually one part of a longer list of value.
The value you bring is not so much in the products and services you sell but in the outcomes that...
What you sell and what your clients buy may be two very different things. We think we sell products and services. What our clients really buy is outcomes.
Theodore Levitt, the father of modern marketing put it brilliantly: “People don’t buy drill bits, they buy holes.”
Your prospects don’t want to buy products, they want outcomes. For example, business owners don’t buy color printers, they buy color printouts. If you boil that down even further, they don’t really buy color prints. If they are printing invoices, what they are buying is the ability to collect money faster from their customers. If they are printing marketing material, what they are buying is competitive advantage and business growth.
One company can send out sales reps to sell color printers to people that don’t want one or have the budget allocated. The next company, realizing that people buy outcomes, can send their sales team out to help prospects streamline...