Let’s get one thing straight. You don’t sell products or services – you provide offerings. There’s a difference. And the difference is so much bigger than semantics. In fact, if you are struggling with what makes your company unique, then this distinction will really help.
Products are things. Services are actions. People are priceless. But Offerings are Everything that’s Uniquely YOU.
Picture your offering being everything – the entire package that you offer to your customers – just as a butler would. You are the butler, serving your customers and the offering is the unique combination of product, service and people presented in your unique way. If each of us is unique, then by definition your company and it’s offerings are like no other.
6 Steps to your unique Irrisistable Offering
It’s one thing to talk about irrisitable offerings and quite another to actually create them. Here’s an easy way to start from scratch and finish irrisistable at any price.
- Develop an a la carte menu with prices. List every product, service and value-added activity. Don’t skip anythin g, you can edit later. The products and services should be easy. It’s those little unique things that matter, that you do for your customers that no one acknowledges or knows about that add value, but kill you because they are hidden from the customer. So, if you follow-up every order with a personal phone call, list it. If you spend time with customers on the phone helping them decide on what to buy, list it. You get the picture.
- Create a “sampling” or starter package option for new customers. People want immediate gratification. How will you give it to them. Look through your a la carte list and start putting things together into packages. Give them something for very little investment that will allow them to sample your offering without a major commitment. It’s a two way street. You want to know they are a good customer, and they want to know that you give them what’s important to them.
- Give them an option to move up. If the sampling stage goes well – then give them more of the same with options to ramp up to more. Go back to your list and choose more product, service or people.
- Give your offering fun names that clearly communicate the benefit. People can’t have an interest in something they don’t understand, and they won’t buy something that doesn’t clearly communicate a solution or the delivery of a want or desire.
- Make it a good value. It’s all about trading cash for what we want. Put some time into doing the math and then communicating it clearly. Stay away from percentages – that’s too vague. Stick with real numbers like $20 off, for example.
- Give it away. If you do the math and you understand how much profit you make on each customer – then don’t be afraid to give things away. Instead of coupons, try gift certificates of real value e.g. $50. Honor them – that means if people come in and buy less, so be it. They got into the store, they had the experience – and that’s more value than you’d get from a $600 dollar ad. Chances are really good that people will buy MORE than the certificate and in that case, it’s advertising that pays for itself.
You can build an irresistible offering no matter how long you’ve been in business — it’s not just for new companies or start-ups. Building a new and irresistible offering can actually revitalize your bottom line. This is an ideal time to create a new offer for the holiday season, for year end and for the beginning of a new year.
About the Author: Ivana Taylor is CEO of Third Force, a strategic firm that helps small businesses get and keep their ideal customer. She’s the co-author of the book “Excel for Marketing Managers” and proprietor of DIYMarketers, a site for in-house marketers. Her blog is Strategy Stew.