Even if you don’t need to increase sales for your shop today, you soon will if we hit the recession that the newsreaders are forecasting. If that happens, you are going to need a sound marketing strategy and implementation plan that doesn’t rely on pricing to get sales leads. You will also need new sales techniques to effectively convert those leads to booked sales.
The power of stopping ‘marketing by accident’ and starting ‘marketing on purpose’
The purpose of marketing is to generate sales leads – opportunities for your salespeople to interact with the prospect and turn them into a customer. However, if your primary marketing message is based on your latest special, new colors, or showcasing your latest and greatest install photos, you are positioning your business as ‘just another fab shop’. You aren’t giving the customer a reason to look beyond price or selection because your shop looks just like all the other fab shops out there. If you don’t believe it, pull up the websites or Facebook pages of 10 fab shops you know of. After the first 3, you will realize they all look pretty much the same.
Most fab shops fall into the trap of doing what they see other fab shops doing. This includes playing the ‘low price game’. You might be doing this too.
So, what should you do instead? How do you stop spending ad money just so you can sell your products at a lower cost?
To start, you need to step solidly into your customer’s shoes and look at the world through their eyes. When you plan your message and your marketing from this perspective, you are becoming much more than just a commodity to them.
Start by identifying the problem(s) they are facing that keeps them up at night and fills them with dread. If your primary customer is a contractor, craft your message to show them that you understand their plight, and why you are the trusted solution. If your primary customer is a homeowner, tilt the message in that direction. Contractors are concerned about meeting target dates so they can manage their projects. Homeowners are concerned about selecting the product that best meets their needs and desires within their budget. While there is plenty of overlap, their core needs are different.
Next, show them how you are uniquely positioned to solve their problems. Demonstrate this by having your customers talk about how your lead time is shorter than your competition, how well you keep your install date commitments, how you ensure the install goes off without a hitch. Show homeowners how you take the time up front to educate them about the products and the process so that they can make the best decision for them. Featuring customer success stories will not only show how pleased your customers are with their finished kitchens, it will also show how you ensure that delight happens for each customer.
When you do this well you are on your way to being a trusted and valued partner, not just another countertop shop. The power of this kind of relationship is that you can charge for the value you provide rather than trying to compete in the losing ‘low price game’ that every other fabricator is playing. That is the power of stopping ‘marketing by accident’ and starting ‘marketing on purpose’.
5 Insights on How to Sell without Selling
Now that you have lots of high-quality leads coming in, they need to be converted to booked sales. Even with awesome marketing, there is still a need for solid sales techniques. The challenge is no one likes to be sold to. So how do you sell without selling?
If you change your sales perspective and approach, every sales interaction you have will change.
Why Buyer’s Buy – Buyers don’t buy products or services. They buy a product or service to alleviate pain, to take away fear, or to attain gain. Buyers make decisions on an emotional level and then they justify the decision logically. If you ask surface-level questions, you will not understand the buyer’s real motivation, nor will you connect to their emotion. Buyers want a partner that understands their unique situation and helps them make their best decision.
Stop Selling – It’s not about selling. It’s about serving by helping prospects discover solutions that provide the most significant value to them. When you and the prospect mutually discover how your offering impacts their situation, the value reveals itself.
Interest or Resistance? – Everything you do when interacting with prospective clients will create either interest or resistance. It’s important to ask yourself, ‘What is my intent? How do my presence and behaviors reflect that in every prospect interaction?’ If your focus is ‘how do I get the person in front of me to buy?’ you might be repelling more people than gaining clients. The focus of selling alone produces fewer results than the focus on serving. If your goal is to truly help others while utilizing an effective process to determine fit and gain commitment, you might have more clients than you can handle.
Provocative Questions – Extraordinary sales professionals gain more clients by asking provocative questions that challenge the prospect’s current way of thinking. When done correctly, a prospective client gains value by engaging in a conversation with you; you gain the business context, understand their issues and the impacts, and identify fit. Together you determine the path forward.
M3 = Results – To be successful in sales requires a good Mindset, effective Mechanics (skills), and consistent Motion (action). Having the right mindset is critical to your long-term success and requires a deep understanding of what influences you, your perceptions, and your responses. Having effective Mechanics is about utilizing the right process and having the skills to handle any situation. Consistent Motion allows you to produce reliable results. It requires a solid commitment to your goals, the right game plan, constant and intelligent action, a resilient approach, and a willingness to revise your plan.
Buyers want a trusted advisor who can help them make the best decision for their unique needs. A sound marketing strategy will generate plenty of opportunities for your salespeople. Effective sales techniques will help your salespeople sell without selling. You will need both if you want to get out of the ‘low price game’ and excel during the next economic downturn.
It is important to realize that your business is running exactly the way you have designed it to run. If you are tired of how it has been running and you aren’t sure how to improve it, call me for a free custom assessment. I’ll help you get started by identifying some specific items you can tackle today.
You deserve to have a business that not only makes you money but also allows you time to enjoy it. Contact me at Ed@FabricatorsCoach.com or call 864-328-6231
[This article was published in the July 2022 Issue of the Slippery Rock Gazette, find it at: https://www.slipperyrockgazette.net/index.cfm/pageId/4586/How%20Much%20Work%20Can%20My%20Shop%20Handle%3F/ ]