Why do Business Owners Rarely Realize their own Value?
Part of the day speaking at the HPBAC Conference revolved around helping the participants brainstorm ideas for newsletters and email blasts; ideas for content and then some social media as well. During lunch, I was speaking with someone who mentioned how it seems that many in the room don’t realize that a big part of their value to customers lies in the knowledge they have about their products and services. I don’t mean knowing the features of using them to sell – but even behind the scenes information that so many clients and prospects don’t know about.
More often than not it is this information that can help consumers make better choices, maintain products or use them more effectively. That kind of information is what your customers need to hear about in newsletters, email or even online. Think about it.
If you can educate a person to better use and maintain what you sell them so it saves them time, keeps the product longer and saves money – they will listen to you.
They want to know this stuff. Yes, it comes second nature to you but for the uninformed, it is gold.
As we did the exercises to create the content, we focused on one company who offered chimney sweep services along with fireplace and stove installs. I was a perfect example of their ideal customer. I have a propane fireplace, a wood burning fireplace and a chimney. I know nothing about them and only guess at what I am supposed to do to clean them. Every fall, as I start to think about using the fireplace again, I also think I need to call someone to clean the chimney. And guess what! It’s bloody hard to get anyone to come and do this, so half the time I give up.
But, I learned something as we did this class. Most companies have time set aside for cleaning in the spring because they have more customers looking to install fireplaces before the winter hits. Their resources in the business are overly busy installing and have no time for cleaning. With the margins and income earned from an install, it becomes the higher priority work for them…not cleanings, so they concentrate on installs and get as frustrated with all the people calling for cleaning as we do making the calls desperately trying to find someone free.
In the spring, however, they are less booked for installs, have more time free and it is just as good a time to clean because you have finished the season of using the fireplace and can prep it now for the fall.
So as they brainstormed about topics to put in a newsletter, we brought giving people the information about why it’s important to do annual cleanings and the benefits from this. Then I said (speaking as the uneducated at this point), “See, there’s a perfect topic to put in your news right now. That way, people can book their annual fall cleaning because they learn of the importance of the cleaning – especially the safety part. ” All of a sudden, four people hollered “NOOO!!!! Not now! You do it in the spring!”
Well that brought more questions from me about why – Aren’t we supposed to clean in the fall? Then I got the lesson on why. More Installs of stoves, fireplaces and the heating appliances happen in the fall. They are busy with this and cannot do it all – install and cleaning. So…it appears they need to also educate clients about why it is easier to book a spring cleaning, not a fall cleaning. Since it appears people need to learn this, you might have to give them an incentive to book – so give them a time limited offer to save money if they book by xxx date in the spring.
Ohhh good idea! It was a realization that so many in the room did not get – that their knowledge about many factors of what they do can actually educate clients into bringing in more sales.
Think about it for your business… is there something that often happens in your business, similar to this situation, where educating potential clients might get them to realize better how to use your services?
If you are not considering your skill and knowledge as an asset and one that can be bringing in new business if you stop, think and do a little planning – you could be losing business.
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