There is a lot of value in being disappointed and failing in business. Each disappointment and failure signals something that is not working in your business. Once you see what is not working then you can change it, fix it, or just plain toss it away and not do it anymore. Looking at what is not working sounds rather benign on paper; however on the playing field it can be painful for you, the entrepreneur, to face the fact that something you have put a lot of time and energy into is not working.
One of my clients had a brilliant idea. In order to stimulate sales and bring in new clients, she would reduce her fee for service by 40% for a certain length of time. She went about crafting her offer, designing special graphics, carefully composing emails about the offer and with much fanfare introduced her deeply reduced fee for service to her large list of potential clients. What happened? Nothing. The offer bombed, and all the weeks of crafting, composing, and marketing was time wasted.
Another client has been selling a product to his target market for several years. He has always told the potential buyer about the benefits and the limits of the product. Sales were increasing steadily, but not dramatically. He knew something was not working as it should. After all, he always told the potential client what the product would not do as well as what the benefits were. Why wasn’t his sales offering working as it should?
Both coaching clients came to their coaching session upset with their potential buyers. They blamed the buyer for not understanding their offers. “After all,” they said “My offer is wonderful. Why isn’t the potential buyer buying?”
The answer to both coaching clients turned out to be the same. They had forgotten WHO they were selling to. They had made the assumption that the potential client knew their product offering as well as they did, when in fact, clearly evidenced by the disappointing sales numbers, the potential client didn’t understand the offer. They didn’t see what they would be getting for their money so they declined the offer. Once my client began to look at the offer through the eyes and mind of his potential client—his specific target market who he calls The One—he could see how to change the offer so it was appealing
In the first instance, the coaching client could adjust the offer of the discounted fee for service by clearly listing what benefits the potential client would receive by accepting the offer. The benefits would be written in such a way that would speak the language of the potential target client. The potential client would want what the person was selling because it spoke to his needs.
In the second instance, the seller saw that in his quest for being honest and straight about what the product would not do, he didn’t specifically highlight what the product would do for the client. He had been emphasizing the short fall, NOT the benefits. The clients were left confused.
Do a thorough debriefing about your business failures with the intention of finding out what didn’t work. It is essential to your entrepreneurial process. Only when you see clearly why something didn’t work can you change it so that it does work. The real proving ground for the success of every offer is through the eyes and ears of your target market, the specific person, the One. If the One won’t buy the offer, find out why.
I am looking forward to hearing from you about this topic.