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In my recent “7 Biggest Mistakes” book, I wrote about key mistakes I see self-employed people making; one of which is - believing you are in business to sell your products and services.

During a recent radio interview, I was asked why I considered that such a big mistake since it seems like any small business owner would be in business to sell their products and services.  Here's why I see it as a mistake - your prospects and clients aren't waking up in the middle of the night focused on your products and services.  Though it would be really cool if they were, right?

The key then, is to tap into what they ARE waking up in the night thinking about in your area of expertise.  When you can truly resonate with the key pains, frustrations, and desires of your target market, that’s when you begin to attract LOTS of clients.  We all started our small businesses to help people through the products and services we offer.  But we can’t help if we are not tuned into what people really want and what they need help with.

So here’s the truth about what you‘re really selling:

You're selling an experience :  When customers show up to do business with you, they're looking for an experience.  Your job is to find out what that experience is and deliver it.  It may be high quality products/service, fast response time, guarantees, a certain type of atmosphere, excellent customer service, etc.  They have some expectations about doing business with you and if you get really curious with your prospects and customers, you'll uncover expectations that you can then deliver to boost sales and also referrals.  

It’s not that you have to meet every expectation, by the way, as some may be unrealistic.  But don’t be quick to dismiss them as unrealistic either.  You may get some information that, if implemented, will quickly set you apart from others in your field.  So at the very least, ask what they appreciate most about your products/services.  This way you can turn up the volume on what people most appreciate or value.

You're selling a solution :  A lot of small business owners talk about the features of their services.  That's when it's all about you and what you have to offer. A web designer talks about all the stuff they do to produce a great web site. A copywriter talks about the great brochure they can create. A virtual assistant talks about all of the tasks they can complete.  A real estate agent talks about how many homes they've sold.  But people show up for a completely different reason.  They show up for solutions.  And the more you sell solutions, the more you attract clients.

Solutions = Results :  So what are those solutions?  I hire a web designer to achieve a particular result - to attract more customers.  I hire a virtual assistant to relieve the stress of trying to do it all myself.  I hire a copywriter to produce something that increases sales.  I hire a real-estate agent either to get my house sold fast and at the highest price, or to buy a fantastic new house at the lowest price possible.  Sometimes, as a real estate agent, you're selling "a great yard for the kids" because that's the #1 focus of your client. The more you talk about the solution and the benefits to your customer (vs what you do), the more you attract prospects and clients.  Because that's what they're thinking about.

So the key is to uncover the real solutions, desires, and benefits to the people you want to help in business.  And you do this simply by asking.  We must become much more curious and ask a lot more questions of our clients/prospects.  A great question to ask is:  What are you hoping to achieve as a result of working with me?  Then listen.  Ask them to tell you more and listen again.  Listen very carefully and you may just uncover a goldmine of powerful marketing language for your business.

WANT TO USE THIS ARTICLE IN YOUR E-ZINE OR WEB SITE?  You can, as long as you include this complete blurb with it: Allison Babb is an author, speaker and Small Business Coach to solo entrepreneurs. Allison publishes the "Small Business Success" weekly Ezine on how to create a steady stream of clients for your small business at:    [Link Removed]


Allibabb, Your links have been removed, please consider upgrading to premium membership.



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