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Why Is It Hard To Buy Your Services?

Written by: Judith Germain, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.

 

It used to be a time when marketing gurus were telling us that we had to ‘touch’ a ‘prospect’ 7 times before they would be happy to buy from us. Now it seems that this figure is 32 times and rising!


How buyers engage with sellers has changed too. Where previously, when a buyer would identify a need, they would reach out to a seller, now the buyer is doing most of the research first. Only then do they approach a number of potential sellers. This lack of trust in the seller being able to help them choose the right options has had a significant impact on the buying cycle. All businesses need to adjust how they market and sell their services accordingly.

Entrepreneurs with high end, high-value services are now faced with a sceptical buying audience who have already researched and decided what they need. Therefore, the successful entrepreneur has to decide how they can become part of the buyer’s research, so that the buying cycle includes rather than excludes them. This has become increasingly important because these ‘research decisions’ take place without the seller's knowledge and across a number of platforms and ‘word of mouth’ conversations.


In a 24/7 society where potential buyers are researching at all times of the day, how do small businesses and freelancers stay relevant and attractive? To be ‘attractive’ to your potential customers begins with ensuring that you have a business proposition and offering that is clear and understandable. If you have more than one business offering then you need to ensure that you only describe or explain your offering to the right audience at the right time, and increasingly on the right online network.


Without clarity of who you are and what you do, you will be seen as confusing and be condemned as ‘just’ a generalist who works with anyone. Only a few generalists with high end, high-value services are bought these days. Sceptical buyers want to buy from ‘the’ expert. For example, if you need brain surgery, you would be unlikely to seek out the best GP to conduct this important work. You would want someone who specialises on the brain.


When your potential customer feels like they have hired ‘the’ expert it provides them with comfort and reduces the likelihood of buyer’s remorse.


How to have a winning proposition


There are a number of factors that are required to ensure that your proposition attracts the clients that you want. These include the following:


Be sure of what it is that you have to offer


Whilst this is an important first step for all businesses, it can be notoriously difficult to achieve. For example, many businesses struggle to articulate what they do when they are describing their work to a new contact. Often leaving their audience confused and disinterested in what they have to sell, reducing the likelihood of referrals or sales from their new contact.


I have noticed that new clients on my Accelerate Your Impact Programme initially lack clarity on what exactly their business proposition is, the impact that they bring to their clients and their business and the core talent that enables them to work within their passion whilst securing the clients that they want. This is more than having a Unique Selling Proposition, this is about knowing the deep roots of your business and the impact that you bring to your clients that no one else can.


Hint: What is that you bring to your business that makes it sing?


Get back to basics or first principles


When you first start running your business you have clarity on what you want to do and have the right level of passion to achieve it. Over time it can become easier to take on work where the money is, than staying in the strategic path you had set yourself. Which can mean that eventually what you actually do in your business is worlds apart from what you set out to do. This can be a problem if you did not set out to make that change.


Corporate refugees tend to use the same company jargon that made them successful within the corporation when they are selling their services. Unfortunately, this is often a barrier because potential clients or referrers do not understand what you mean. The words appear vague and do not fully express the meaning you are trying to convey.


Hint: What does your service do – in plain compelling English?


Ensure that your offering has a market


It is very easy to get swept up in the service that you want to deliver and miss what it is that your customers want to buy. Often your proposition is close to what the market wants and a few people buy, however, a slight tweak can enable you to have mass appeal.


Hint: Listen to what your customers are telling you – and fish where the fish are


Learn how to articulate your proposition so that others understand


This is a key crux as to why it is hard to buy your services. One of the best ways to solve this is to work with a mentor, like myself, that has experience in helping people like you, solve this conundrum. Another way is to spend time asking your previous clients the impact of using your services (there are always pleasant surprises there!), breaking down the core components and then crafting a compelling story that describes your service and how you help your clients.


Hint: Ensure that what you do fits your business strategy

Leveraging who you are and what you do increases attraction and impact


Buying high end, high value, high-cost services are considered purchases, and in complex, constantly changing environments, one that a buyer cannot afford to make frivolously. In which case before they buy your service they will spend significant time trying to understand who you are (or what your business represents) and what you do, to see if it aligns to your proposition and their own needs.


Potential buyers are often looking for cohesion and demonstration of competence and will turn to online research in deference to, or before offline research. This is why it is vital that your core proposition provides clarity to you and your potential clients, you utilise your impact profile and apply your core talent to your work. This enables you to not only have a winning proposition, a proposition story that attracts, but one that is fuelled by your passion.


Entrepreneurs with high end, high-value services are now faced with a sceptical buying audience who have already researched and decided what they need. Therefore, the successful entrepreneur has to decide how they can become part of the buyer’s research, so that the buying cycle includes rather than excludes them. This has become increasingly important because these ‘research decisions’ take place without the sellers knowledge and across a number of platforms and ‘word of mouth’ conversations.


The key to solving the dilemma of why it is so hard to buy your services, is to have a clear understanding of what you do and how you add value. This includes providing a clear and consistent message and accelerating your impact by leveraging your reputation as an expert in your field.

For more info on Judith follow her on LinkedIn, YouTube, Instagram, Facebook and her website. Read more from Judith!

 

Judith Germain, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine Judith Germain is the leading authority on Maverick Leadership. She is a strategic innovator utilising Maverick Leadership principles to empower business owners and leadership teams to have the strategic insight, innovation and execution, to enhance their impact and influence.This enables them to exceed stakeholder expectations, have engaged inclusive teams and attract the clients that they want. Judith hosts The Maverick Paradox Podcast, is the Founder and Editor of The Maverick Paradox Magazine, and host of The Maverick Paradox @ KLDR radio show. She is the author of The Maverick Paradox: The Secret Power Behind Successful Leaders. Judith is also a senior consultant, trainer and speaker.

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