Three Golden Questions Guaranteed to Grow Your Business
Imagine — you, your company and your cause have a 100% brand recognition with millions of people. Everyone knows exactly who you are. Not only do they know exactly who you are but they know exactly what you do — no misinterpretations, confusion or mix-ups. Now to top it all off, they know exactly how you can help them accomplish their goals, fill their needs, make them happy, healthy, content,beautiful or whatever it is that you, your company or organization can provide. Because of this — you have no issue whatsoever finding people to purchase from or support you because you have reached so many people in such a direct and meaningful way that your phone rings off the hook with people interested in what you do!
Sound appealing? If your answer is “no” then please, stop reading right now and close the window — this is a waste of your time and isn’t for you. If you’re like the rest of us, then of course it does!
With so much noise, media, social platforms, advertisements and everything else you can imagine being thrown at us nowadays it has become increasingly difficult for businesses as a whole, much less the sales people that represent them, to stand out. Not only that, but many products and services in today’s society are becoming more and more advanced with many different layers of value that they provide. This is why, in this day and age one of the largest obstacles that businesses and sales people face today is lack of knowledge, understanding, perceived value or clarity of purpose.
They either don’t know you or what you do and if they do, it is perceived as unimportant.
This is not because it is of no value but rather that you are lost in the static behind our 8 second attention spans* and endless advertisements — subtle or direct.
*According to Time Magazine, the average attention span in 2015 is down to 8 seconds!
Have you ever spoken to someone about your company, your cause or what you do and they have never heard of you…or even worse, think what you do is completely different than what it actually is, requiring you to correct them as you explain…me too…and it’s our fault. It is at this point that we must ask ourselves the first of our Three Golden Questions -
Golden Question #1 -
How many people know I exist?
If someone doesn’t even know you exist, even if you reach out to them directly, your chances of ever doing business with them drastically decreases. Now this number is going to vary depending on the business but the truth of the matter is that many times we get so caught up in our product, operations, training, research and development or that “one key client” that we sometimes forget one of the keys to selling / moving product….the more people who know who you are the more likely they are to be interested in what you do. To put it in laymen terms — if they don’t even know you exist how on earth will they ever buy anything from you!?
There are a number of different ways that you can tackle the question of existence and I would recommend utilizing a variation of them based on target audience -
- Print / Newspaper
- Traditional TV / Radio Advertising
- Social Media
- Direct Marketing / Direct Selling
- Billboards, Signs, etc.
- Direct Mail
- Interpersonal Relationships
All of these ways have their own appeal and which ones you chose will depend on your current budget, knowledge, target audience, etc. but the point is — people need to know who you are. A massive amount of the right people at that!
Now while your personal opinion will determine where you decide to advertise, I will always recommend that you go directly where peoples eyes go! Leading into the understanding that — With the advent of social media we now have direct access to the eyes of billions of consumers throughout the globe at any given moment. Do not underestimate the power this can bring — utilize this as one of the core pieces of your strategy.
Now while you are looking to utilize different means of increasing your awareness you want to get the most bang for your buck. This is done by being creative, authentic, knowing your target audience inside and ADD VALUE!! People remember how you make them feel and want to feel special so if they thin that you are’t speaking to them or their situation, they’ll tune you out. You should know your target audience to the point, even if you are broadcasting to a wide base, they feel as though you’re talking directly to them and making their lives better because they know you exist. Be personal! Every single person in your target audience is a person just like you and me. They may care about different things and have a different view on life but, nevertheless, they are an individual that we must speak to. Now whatever strategy you use, the more people that know you the better and you should be doing everything you can to make sure this number is increasing exponentially — if you’re not then chances are you’re becoming obsolete.
Now this brings us to the next level. Maybe they’ve heard of the company but have what you do completely wrong? “Oh I’ve heard of them! Don’t you guys do (insert false statement / misnomer here)??” This, ladies and gentleman is a cringe worthy statement but not for the reasons you might think. As a wave of frustration rolls over you it is at this point that you may be thinking to yourself — “That’s not even close to what we do…what do you mean….haven’t you seen / heard….how can you not know?” but the truth is, they don’t….and the cringe worthy part is — it’s your fault. Whether you are a brick and mortar business, online portal, e-commerce or an independent sales professional — it is your fault. The good news is, you have accomplished no small feat as this step alone is extremely difficult and is just the beginning! If they at least have some base level knowledge of who you are and know that you exist, you can now coexist! This gives us an amazing foundation to answer the second question!
Golden Question #2 -
Do they know EXACTLY what I do?
Now that you have mastered the art of “existence” it is time to consider what the individual thinks about when they see your brand / logo and subsequently think of you and your organization. (Try saying that ten times fast!) Just because you know of a company or person does not mean that you know anything about them, you simply know they exist. How many logos do you recognize but don’t know anything about and what you think you know may be completely wrong? I challenge you to pay attention tomorrow and see how many fit this description. If we do not clearly define what it is that we represent and have to offer then our hard earned recognition is at risk of being heisted by misunderstanding.
Someone thinking they know what you do and being completely incorrect can be very damaging and counterproductive as they spew this misinformation out into the world.
It is with this in mind that we must carefully clarify what it is that we do, what service we provide, our company product, etc. and convey it in laymen terms. Now I know that we are all extremely passionate about what it is that we do and know all of the intricate details but we must constantly remind ourselves that our customers do not. It is with this in mind that we must speak and convey information as if no one has ever heard of us with the intent of clearly and simply defining “what I do” so as to build a base foundation and prevent any misconceptions / inaccuracies.
This can be done through simple and clear statements that speak to the common person that are careful not to confuse. Before making a statement or creating a piece of advertising, ask yourself -
- If I knew nothing about my product / service, would I understand what they do?
- If I had never met (myself) and I made this statement, would I be confused? Or would I know exactly what this person did for a living?
- If I needed this person’s / companies service, would I clearly understand what they do should I be in the market? Or would I be confused, not quite know and look online for someone who was clear?
Simple and clear — remember to keep it simple and clear!
Challenging Question -
If the friend of someone you just spoke with / advertised to was in the market for what you offer, would your prospect be able to clearly identify you based on your message?
That’s second degree marketing! Make your message so clear that your target can easily explain your product / service to their center of influence. The goal of this section is to get our target audience to the point that they know exactly what we do which puts us in the race the next time they are in the market for our services.
If your target got a call from you, right now, would they know exactly what it was regarding?
Once they know what we do, it is time to build on our foundation bringing us to our last and final question -
Golden Question #3 -
Do they know EXACTLY how I can help them?
Now that we exist and the world knows exactly what we do, it is time to get personal! It is at this point that we clearly communicate exactly how what we have will enhance their lives and help them. This is not general — I mean truly convey exactly how we are going to help them! Get personal! Now this is going to take a solid understanding of your target audience (even if it is just for one campaign / one client at the time) which is a different topic but if you would like help with that, message me and I will assist you!
Everyone cares about one person above all — themselves. People are inherently self centered (“self” also meaning — spouse / ones immediate family), their situations and what (your product / service) is going to mean to them and their situation. With this in mind, think and construct your message in terms of how it will be received. How will they hear what you are saying?
How is your product / service going to truly enhance the lives of your audience? And how are they supposed to know that in 8 seconds or less?
Once you have answered the question of “how will this benefit?”, go back and simplify it again! The simpler the better! Nowadays, with our busy, over saturated minds, no one is going to listen to an intricately detailed presentation about something they don’t even know they need… Especially not with 8 second attention spans…their eyes will glaze over or they’ll keep scrolling down! What’s more, most people don’t care how it works or the fine details, only how it is going to actually help them. Power comes in the ability to take a complex service / product and simplify it to the point that our message can be easily consumed by our audience. Once our message is consumed, our audience will know exactly how we can benefit them and their families and puts us in the best possible position for success.
Now that they know exactly how your product / service can help them, you are in a position to either directly ask them to purchase or are in a position to earn business when they are in the market. When it comes time for them to make a buying decision, do they even know you exist, know exactly what you do and exactly how you can help them? When you call to ask for time on the calendar, does this person know exactly how you can help them? Or are you trying to sell to someone who is completely mistaken about what you do?
There are a tremendous amount of consumers in any given industry but if only a fraction of them know you exist and those that do are confused about the rest, you’ll spend your life fighting a strenuous uphill battle!
Overall, the message is clear — get your entire target audience to know you, be clear and simple about what you do and convey exactly how you can help in simple enough terms to ensure they understand. You may be doing extraordinary in one field or the other but if you are not able to answer all three questions definitively, we have work to do! Answer all three questions with enough of the right people and the rest will be history!
Your partner in business,
P.S. — If you like what you read, please share and, as always, I would love to hear your thoughts so don’t be shy — comment below!
**Time Magazine Source — http://time.com/3858309/attention-spans-goldfish/