Today we leave the wow factor at home and knuckle down on the basics. These are the basics that are often overlooked in businesses, causing big problems.
At home, we’ve been looking at getting our kitchen redone. We’ve got quotes and have been meeting contractors to do the work. What has become clear in this process is that many businesses sound great on the phone and are eager to give a quote but there are many things that let them down along the way.
One contractor didn’t turn up for his appointment and forgot about it. I appreciate these things happen but it doesn’t happen in my business because I schedule everything and I let people know if I can’t make an appointment. This stood out for me as not being the best start.
This contractor then called me back and came around immediately to give a quote. I am promised designs after the quote. A week goes by and I get nothing. So I chase and I am told another person will be around to talk about the design.
They come over and promises are made. Then I get the quote back and it is significantly over the original ballpark figure and not including what has been promised at the outset. For a customer, this is not a pleasant experience.
Focus on why people buy from you
It’s really important to focus on the core reasons why people buy from you and what they need from you is so important. If you don’t get these right, then you won’t make a good impression or get to market leader level. Market leaders rely on amazing feedback and your audience talking about you to others. If you can’t get the basics right in the beginning, you won’t build that traction in your market because you aren’t giving them enough to do that with. Give your audience the right things to talk about.
When we talk about over delivering with new technology, that’s fantastic but turning up on time, keeping promises and sticking within the budget. Make promises you know you can keep and hold back on what you can’t.
Deliver on what you say you will
A few years ago, I hired an expert to help me with a particular area of my business. I spoke to them about the fact I didn’t want any of the offerings on the table. They didn’t quite fit my needs. So I needed them to amend that and be more bespoke for my needs.
While I’m great in masterminds, a group programme is not for me. I want to focus on what I want to focus on for my business. So, I was told that was possible and adjustments were made. We had this transparent call and while they said “yes” something didn’t feel right.
I put in another call before the service began to reassure me that everything was fine. I was told that is what I would be getting so I needed to trust the process. It got off to a great start, with an amazing VIP day in London and a gift as a thank-you for becoming a client. This was a great beginning.
As the service continued, I was concerned that I did not get the service I asked for. There were things that were not being delivered and I was being pushed into the same conveyor belt as everyone else. She wasn’t delivering what I wanted in practice. For me, this is bang out of order and I don’t want to go shout about working with this person.
They took my money and did not give me the service I wanted. I know I’m not the only one because I hear daily about businesses not giving the service they promise.
This behaviour will not take you to market leader level. Charging lots of money is one thing but you need to back it up with value. Deliver on expectations and be clear from the outset.
Set expectations and boundaries
One of the best things I did in my business was to put in place expectations and boundaries. These are in the contract upfront and are transparent. They are part of the onboarding. Client onboarding doesn’t need to be fancy: you need to make it simple and make sure there is one.
Make it easy for people to do business with you. Recently, I’ve seen difficult onboarding systems and the potential clients have changed their minds. Putting expectations at the front end will make it easier to deliver the service. Without clear expectations, you risk your client being resentful. Communication is key between you and your client from the first moment you start working together.
It is up to me when I choose to break my boundaries and over-deliver. I don’t do this often but I have those boundaries in place to manage expectations so when I do choose to work over and above, it is a bonus not an expectation. Everyone is happy because we all agree on them to begin with and I make sure I live up to these expectations.
This means turning up when you say you will and that you can do them.
Make sure you can deliver
One of my coaching buddies said they signed up for a programme where the coach running the programme said they would show you how to run a 7 figure business using their secret magic formula. Except this secret magic formula was a seven-minute video. If you do that in seven minutes and it works, then it really is a magic formula.
An example of this is the story of Theranos which raised $700 million and was valued at $10 billion but the tech didn’t work. A clear example of marketing your business and promising over and above will propel you forward. It didn’t have the substance behind what they were saying.
Sometimes, we need to look at the basics in our business and check we are delivering. You can be groundbreaking and innovative but without the delivery to back it up, you will lose your credibility in the market.
Equally, Fyre Festival promised beyond what they were capable of delivering. The basics were not there. Simple things that make people so happy but does not happen and this will really annoy people. Small things can be big niggles. Whereas, a bit of thought and attention can make sure you get it right because not every business pay attention to the basics.
If you are consistently paying attention to the basics, that will get talked about. The fact that people can struggle to get good customer service when they do get it people appreciate it, create loyalty and will want to work with you.
Adding value to your delivery
Before you start adding lots of value to your product, you need to have the cake before you put the cherry on top. You need the basics in place first before you start adding in all these extra bits of value for your clients. It’s important to have substance behind what you do.
When you look at marketing your services, you need to look at how you are meeting the basics. Are you chucking value to justify your price point? Are you marketing by promising something people want and what you can deliver from?
You need to look at the core reason why someone buys from you. Market at the impact of having that thing.
For example, you are a mindset coach who works with senor leaders to feel more confident in their performance. We could add in the luxury VIP stuff, but what do people really want? And what is the impact of having this? What is the filter down through the ranks and productivity on the organisation? How will this impact the rest of the teams? And the business bottom line? How does this look from an employee perspective that you are investing in them?
We are marketing on the impact of having that one thing but we are not doing any extra work for that. Always promise what you can deliver and I’m a big fan of underpromise and over-deliver. When you have the basics in place, then pull in the wow factor and all the luxuries on top.
Be clear on why people want your service. When I talk about creating market leading USPs, you can make sure you design that around a need or want around something that they need. Else your groundbreaking is useless. Centre your USP around genuine problems and needs so that you are relevant. Then you can make sure there is a need for your offering.
My clients are all about the support and help and the transformation they receive, There are other businesses working as coaches and massively promote a lifestyle business and look at the life you can have. Whereas my clients want to learn in a decent environment but that’s not what they are buying.
However, another type of client might want the luxury and buy another business coach’s life. They crave luxury so it makes sense to bring those things in. It’s not what my clients are buying, they want the result and success of their business.
Have a look at the type of clients you work with and what’s important to them. What do you need to focus on so you need to get that right?
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