Friday 6 August 2010

Do your buyers see your products/services as discretionary or essential?

I had a conversation with a client of mine yesterday and he was telling me why he thinks that the volume of sales in his retail business is down 20% on the highs of his business in 2007. He told me he thinks a lot of people are sitting on their hands and asking will the economy get better, worse, or stay the same? And while they are sitting he told me such people think our products are discretionary, where as in 2007 they thought they were essential!

Many businesses face this dilemma. I know in my business there are many clients and prospects who are telling me that my services are a non-essential spend right now, even though they know deep down inside that to not invest in developing people right now will have dire consequences down the track, such as losing good people to competitors, low morale, and the corresponding drop in productivity.

To meet this challenge and to ensure my clients see me as a highly valued performance partner, I am providing more services before and after I work in person and/or online with my clients than I ever did.

Mostly I do this by providing digital resources and in person work using technology that enable my clients to be better prepared for my work with them, to increase the likelihood of action being taken in the long term, and to provide great support as agreed actions are implemented.

How about you? What are you doing to help your customers/clients see that buying your products/services is essential?

An interesting outcome of providing more value before and after is happening for me. My in person work with clients is valued more!

I would be interested to know what you are doing that is changing what’s normal for you and your clients. Please email or telephone me.

Someone said that the definition of stupidity is
Expecting a different result by continuing to do the same old thing

Someone else said that the definition of idiocy is
Doing something different and still getting the same result

My one aim each day is to not be stupid or idiotic!

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Paul du Toit CSP, Pres Skills Expert said...

Ian, you raise some valuable points here. We're finding that by scheduling follow up training with our client before the current intervention is over makes the delegates feel that they have something to aim for and encourages them to implement what they've learned. Another method is creating assignments with submission deadlines. In addition to motivating delegates to implement, it shows us who's capable of implementing what they've learned and thus becomes a valuable succession planning instrument. We call it adding value to our service. And it shows the client that they're getting a lot more than training, they're getting a tangible result that they can bank.

Ian Berry said...

Great stuff Paul. Thank you. I am certain we could add a lot of value to each other in the business we are in and then of course to our clients by sharing more of what we do