Ultimately, if you’re in sales (and who isn’t…?), then in the crassest possible terms, this is what you are asking for.
You want people to hand you their money.
But in exchange for what, exactly?
A cup of coffee for $2.25 is a pretty clear exchange. My monthly cable bill – I know what it is I’m getting for what I’m (over)paying.
But when a company says that it provides scalable end-to-end communications solutions, then I really don’t know what the transaction is. Let alone the WIIFM.
This is where packaging comes in.
Whatever it is that you provide, you want to be able to express it as a differentiated, results-producing, clearly-defined, package.
- Differentiated – why would I buy what you are offering compared to other providers?
- Results-producing – how are you going to relieve my pain and/or make me successful?
- Clearly-defined – what exactly does your offering include and not include?
- Package – help me envision the exchange in tangible terms.
Example: let’s say you’re a professional business coach. That’s a more “squishy” and esoteric offering than, say, a cup of coffee. And there are tons of coaches floating around. So, you might package yourself this way:
- Based on years of experience, I coach small-business owners who are wearing too many hats and feel “stuck” (differentiation: experience; very specific market segment; felt problem).
- I provide concrete strategies to more effectively manage your staff so that within three months, you reclaim at least one day a week for higher-level strategic leadership (measurable result).
- I spend a half-day up front doing discovery and diagnosis with you, then schedule 90-minute weekly coaching calls to work together on implementation, during the initial 3-month engagement (clear and limited expectations/commitment).
- I also provide a gold-level concierge service for unlimited support calls, and for 6 or 9 month coach engagements (using common imagery to explain differing levels of service).
(I should clarify – the above is an example I made up. It’s not a description of what I do!)
How much, how long, how many, how often – these more quantifiable elements give people a better idea of the actual exchange. Windy and vague generalities that can’t be understood are an invitation to say, “No.”
It is far easier for customers to exchange money for something that feels more tangible – a package. The more concretely we can describe the offering, the more comfortable our customers will feel about going forward.
Highly recommended further reading: What’s Your “Thing” People Need to Buy?
This post is the eleventh in a series on gaining business clarity:
- What are your Company Strengths?
- What is Your Company’s Domain Expertise?
- Who Loves You?
- What’s Your Company Culture?
- What is Your Company’s Big-Picture Goal?
- Defining (and Doing) Your Best Work
- How to Catch Your Marketplace Wave
- What is Your Customer’s Pain?
- Aim at Nothing and You’ll Hit it Every Time
- Build Your Army of Advocates