The life of an entrepreneur can be difficult. You will be called upon to wear many different hats, especially when you are first starting out. You will oversee every aspect of your business, and be responsible for making sure everything runs smoothly. This can be overwhelming, because there are a lot of things to consider. Nevertheless, it seems that no matter what you find yourself focusing on, it all boils down to raising your bottom dollar. You want more capital, more customers, and more business!
A big part of being an entrepreneur is selling your product or service to customers. A great deal of importance lies in your ability to sell more or provide your service to more people. There are a myriad of avenues you can take to grow your business, this includes marketing, direct sales, and networking just to name a few. These are all essential and someone would argue that every avenue should be explored. However, more often than not when we are coming up with ideas for expansion, we focus mostly on external factors. It is a common mistake to overlook internal processes and companies should work to change that! Before you aim to reach out, be confident that the current processes in place are operating properly.
One internal process you can work on is taking the time to build value with your customers. This is something we can do without having to spend marketing dollars or trying to sell directly. When someone is looking to purchase something or hire someone to provide a service, they want to make sure they are getting a good deal. More than that, they want to make sure that they are getting their money’s worth, i.e. value. As consumers, value is one of the top qualities we search for as we contemplate a purchase. Because of this, it is a great strategy to build and display your value constantly to your current and potential customers.
With so many people starting businesses these days, there is a lot of competition out there. That can make it difficult for you to stand out and convince potential customers that you are the best choice! Directing some of your efforts into building value will help to distinguish you from the rest. Here are five ways you can build value:
1. Pay Attention to the Little Things
The little things matter, and they go a long way with your customers. Remembering their name, or special information that they may tell you during a consultation is an excellent way to build value. It creates an environment that makes them feel like you care about their needs, which will in turn make them want to spend their money with you! Personalize things when you can and if it is feasible, make the customer feel special. For example, send a personalized email if they sign up for your mailing list, or send them a small gift for purchasing a higher end product or service package. People tend to do business with people they like, this is why it’s important to attempt to connect with them! Creating a connection beyond the transaction is an amazing way to create a sense of camaraderie. Doing this will not only lead to a sale, but most likely it will produce recurring business which is something every entrepreneur should strive for (and wants!).
2. Offer Great Customer Service
Along with making your customers feel special, you want them to feel like you are their advocate. This is especially true for those of you in the service industry. The customer should feel comfortable with you. They should be able to trust that you will do whatever you can to make sure that they have a good experience and get the product they want in the end. Quality customer service seems to be going out of the window these days, people are being treated more like numbers then human beings. If you make an effort to provide quality customer service, it will certainly set you apart and build tremendous value. A few suggestions are to make sure you answer all of their questions, answer them as promptly as you can, and always be courteous (even if they are not). Going the extra mile will build trust, and trust is important for any relationship including business relationships!
3. Cultivate a Strong Portfolio (or Customer Reviews)
Of course, your work should always speak for itself. If you make subpar work, or provide a mediocre product, that will certainly not build value. Portfolios are more important for services industries. The ability to show your work in one convenient place is always ideal. You can do this by creating a great website where your work is the focal point. In addition, you can add a special place on your site that also showcases your work, perhaps a portfolio page dedicated solely to your service. Be sure to make this page (as well as your entire site for that matter) clean, professional and inviting. Don’t muddle your site with advertisements or crazy colors, this will help to put your work on a platform where they can view it without any distractions. Another thing to note, is the quality of your website. If you have videos showcasing your business, those should be great quality as well! If the avenue you choose to display your work is subpar, it will inevitably make your own work appear subpar, even if it is not.
For product based companies, having great reviews on your website also show that you have a strong product. Being able to display to your clients that what you offer works for people is the most sure fire way to build value. Whenever you have a customer express to you that they are happy with your product, take advantage of that and ask them to write you a review! A great review will include what they purchased, why they purchased it and why they loved your product and company! Ask your customers if they are okay with including those key elements and before you know it you will have a glowing review page that will make potential customers feel more confident that what you offer, is worth their money. Make sure you take the time to build a great portfolio or product review page as it will go a long way.
4. Display Knowledge of your Industry (AND Execute)
Being knowledgeable of what is going on in your industry is always a plus. Customers want to know that you know what you are talking about. You should aim to be a leader in your industry, keeping up to date with current events and developments. This will give you an edge over your competitors. Even more so, this knowledge will help you to better help your customers and provide what they need. An important thing to note is that while knowledge is wonderful, if you do not know how to implement that knowledge into real world situations then it is useless. Just spouting off statistics or information to your customers does not build value. They don’t want a history lesson or a lecture on your product or service. You must be able to show that your knowledge can be utilized in a way to help them achieve the results they are seeking. You can do this by using the information you know about your industry to get to the heart of what a customer wants.
Sometimes customers present you a need that you, based on your knowledge, believe is pointless and that it will only lead to unnecessary expenses for your customer. A truthful company should advise customers on what is better for their specific case and not everyone.
As an entrepreneur, your main goal is to solve problems for your consumers, not just tell them information. If you can save them money, that is EVEN better. Always be honest on whether something they are willing to pay for is necessary or not, for what they were looking for. Marrying knowledge with execution is a huge part of value building.
See Also: 6 Customer Retention Strategies
Standing out from the sea of businesses in today’s marketplace can be difficult. However, if you take the time to build value and continue to reinvent your business structure to display it, you will surely set yourself apart. Customers want to know that they can trust you to do a good job and provide a good product. If you can communicate that to them effectively, your business will grow and the customers you acquire will feel comfortable enough to come back! Building value leads to customer retention and a great reputation, critical elements to growing your business!
How do you build value with your customers? Let us know in the comments section below.