By now, you’ve probably perfected your 7-second version and 30-second version “elevator pitch” about what your company offers. You probably know what it is that you do best, and who your specific market of consumers is. But can you do more?
- Will you demonstrate for someone what you offer, instead of just telling them?
- Will you walk someone through a version of your product, instead of hyping them on the benefits?
- Will you offer a limited time free “test run” or “demo version” and give them every opportunity to become acquainted with your product?
- Will you do a taster plate or a sampler pack to encourage someone to join your family of customers?
If your company offers products, by the end of this year, I challenge you to find three ways to streamline your product offering and fulfillment process.
If your company offers services, by the end of this year, I challenge you to find three ways to make “packages” of your service agreement: perhaps this is a base rate plus additional services, a monthly service, or a subscription, report, or deliverable.
Human beings like to think in terms of packages, or in terms of one specific item at a time. A package is something that fulfills what I need, and is available in packaged form — meaning, if I want it, I can purchase it. If I don’t want it, I can look around your “shelf” and find some other items that are closer to my needs, budget range, and timeframe.
What is on your company’s shelf? On your website, in your promotional materials, in your brochure, on your cards, in your explanations with customers and potential partners, how do you explain what you offer? It’s best for you to come up with three sample packages (A, B, and C — or silver, gold, and platinum if you like it like that) that best describe what you offer and how you will solve your customer’s need or help them with their problem.
As an example, when you go to a restaurant, they don’t need to tell you the care with which they’ve sourced their ingredients, the types of staff they have in the kitchen, the kind of clientele they’re hoping to attract, and the specifics of their fermentation process or the deboning/deglazing that goes on in the back. They just give you the menu and you decide what you’re in the mood to eat.
How can you give your customer a “menu” of items?
As an example, in terms of packaging: for my own web design company, when we first got started we would estimate and bill projects on a one-by-one basis – with an hourly rate and a not-to-exceed amount for a specific set of items. This was difficult for us internally because the design process can be tremendously variable, and we were consistently having to rebuild, re-tweak, re-tool, and in general do the same things over and over.
Now, after five years of working on our proprietary magic formula, we offer a more packaged approach. Our range of products depends on specific types of customers’ needs, and we have specific “modules” that can be added on depending on a person’s needs. We now specify our approach and our deliverables: because our “source” is highly configurable and we’ve done so much research and development, we can come up with extremely efficient solutions to common issues that we see our clients facing. In terms of design, which is always a bit of a gray area, we now have a more locked-down process. So, we offer a phased approach with specific “milestones” that a website can reach for a specific budget: this helps everyone, from board, to staff, to stakeholders, to the executive director.
What is your package? What do you offer?
If I’m your customer, show me what you offer in a menu format and let me choose: it makes my life easier, I’ll better understand how to do business with you, and I’ll be more inclined to choose your pre-packaged options then to deal with the hassle of trying to figure your process and my own process out.