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One of the best ways to help your customers, especially in their eyes, is to start with pricing.
1. VALUE PROPOSITION & PRICING
Short and long term pricing is fairly complex.
- You have to consider the value as opposed to your competition.
- You have to think about what the consumer will truly pay for your product.
- You have to be able to reach your revenue and market share goals.
- You have to maximize your profit.
- You may have to think about what customers would pay for other solutions you offer.
- You have to think about whether your price should fall in relation to the competition.
- As soon as price, value proposition and competitive position are aligned, you’re in the best possible scenario to maximize revenue and profits.
Pricing strategy verses your value proposition
Your price on a product sends a strong signal to your market; it needs to be in-line with the value you’re delivering.
- It just makes sense if your value proposition is in operational efficiency, then your price needs to be extremely competitive.
- It really sends the wrong message if your value proposition is product leadership or customer intimacy. After all, if a luxury item isn’t expensive, is it really a luxury?
Differ From the Competition Based on Consumer Needs
At this point you should have a sound market strategy in place one that has came from the answers to these two key questions:
Where and how do we compete
That is, what products or services do we sell, to what kinds of customers and in which markets” How do we organize our assets and use pricing to back it up? The challenge is to extend that understanding to ensure that your entire company focuses on the practical implications of that differentiation strategy. In simpler terms:
- Customer touch points
- Product and service variety
- Operational configuration and cost structures
3. TARGET MARKET
Target your particular market
You might consider the first plan of listing those people that sales aren’t currently reaching their goals and reaching out to them. Also, using tools like LinkedIn can be valuable assets. Checking facts with Jigsaw and LinkedIn can save time and energy, at a rate of 10 or so prospects entered per day. It should only take 3 to 4 weeks to make your list. Use an introductory email as first communication with these new clients.
You might also want to create a content marketing program to help your list and qualify leads. It is true that a content marketing program can come in many forms; start thinking about a blog and post articles with information and tips that coincide with your product.
In order to pass on more content, your list can be built with a monthly or weekly newsletter, with summaries of and links to the articles on your blog. Including links within the articles is also a good lead tactic.
After you have built your list and a content marketing program in place to help that list, it is a good idea to start on a larger scale to create demand beyond the contacts in your database. Another great thought would be to promote what you are offering with a targeted paid search program or content syndication program. These strategies will not only help brand your business but help build your list and provide leads for your sales.
Keep in mind if the contacts in your database happen to come across some of your content outside of your nurturing program that will only reinforce your company.
Communicating well is the key
A sales message not only intrigues, informs, persuades, calls to action, but will also close the final sale. You will soon realize not all sales messages will make a direct sale, but your goal must remain the same. Even if your sales message is embedded in a letter, represented in a proposal, or broadcasted over the internet.
4. COMMUNICATION MODEL
A Guide to a Basic Sales Message
You have to use humor, novelty and surprise to get attention. Also build customer interest by appealing to general needs and wants, including a statement to set up expectations.
You have to establish your credibility, discuss attractive features, and compare with competitors, addressing potential questions before they are asked.
Summarize and offer solution steps while motivating the audience to take the next step. The smaller the step, the more likely the audience will be responsive. Try to make an effective closing. Make the sale, try to be memorable, and make sure your last thoughts relate to the most important information, like a consumer phone number.
Last but not least, just remember every product or service you bring to the market creates a customer experience. Is it the experience you intended? Does that experience fulfill the promise you’ve made to the marketplace?
Starting a business can present numerous but not insurmountable challenges. Becoming knowledgeable through research, learning to heed the advice of successful entrepreneurs, and becoming proactive in all operations will assist small business owners in facing these challenges.
Here are some of the main challenges entrepreneurs face and strategies to effectively deal with them.
- Developing an idea and vision. As Benjamin Franklin once so aptly put it, you must possess the ability to see what others cannot see. Developing a business idea and plan is the first and most important challenge faced by every entrepreneur.
- Raising capital for startup. To overcome the omnipresent challenge of raising capital, you must develop the ability to sell your idea to investors. Note, however, that convincing an investor about something that does not yet exist presents a challenge within itself. You must be persuasive and have a good story backed by a fortified business plan if you wish to attract investors and capitalists.
- Putting together a strong business team. By team, I do not mean employees; I mean a business management team that will meet routinely to brainstorm and discuss the direction of the business, long and short-term goals, and different strategies to expand it. A business team is a vital, yet largely ignored key to raising capital and getting your business on its feet.
- Finding the right employees. Finding ambitious, trustworthy and loyal employees is extremely difficult. Even if you do find individuals who meet your expectations, if they work poorly as a team, it is in vain and will yield nothing but stagnation. Remember, employees are a reflection of your business its values, culture, and ethic. Hire slow and fire fast.
- Overcoming competition. From an outsiders perspective, competition encourages innovation and production of quality products; it’s a benchmark of creativity. Adopting this view, you should embrace competition and use it to stimulate your creative juices, so to speak.
- Unpredictable business challenges and expenses. As the old saying goes, expect the unexpected. If not handled promptly and with care, these can potentially lead to business failure. Some challenges include:
- Inability to make payroll
- Unexpected resignation of staff
- Bad customers
- Poor working capital
- Oscillating government policy
- Unpaid bills/taxes
The above are several but not all challenges every small business owner must face as they begin their journey as an entrepreneur. Overcoming these challenges is quite literally the difference between success and failure.