Last time, I shared a shift I’ve made in how I plan to serve my clients. I’m going to offer packages to actually do a lot of my clients’ online marketing for them. I’ve shared details of my proposed new offerings with several of my clients and the reaction has been quite positive: “Sign me up!”
So today, I’m turning it around and asking you whether you’re offering your customers what they really want. If you have a successful business, you’re obviously satisfying a need for your market. The question is, can you do more? If your business isn’t as successful as you wish, the question is even more vital.
Here are some of the questions you may want to ask yourself:
- Are you offering everything your customers need?
In your dealings with your market, have you noticed that they need help in areas your business doesn’t currently offer? Do you have – or can you get, through learning or collaboration – the knowledge and skills to help them? If so, it’s a win-win. You make more money upselling to current clients and finding new ones, and they get an additional need satisfied.
- Are your services and products offered in all the formats your customers prefer and can afford?Many coaches offer primarily one-on-one coaching. But what if a prospective client can’t afford that service? Do you offer group coaching, workshops, self-study programs?Maybe it’s the opposite for you. Maybe you offer primarily digital information products. Would your customers like – and be willing to pay for – some personal coaching from you, either one on one or in a group?
You can communicate with clients in person, on the phone, through Skype, or on a webinar.
Chances are, individuals within your market prefer different modes of receiving your services and products. Offer them!
- In a similar vein, do you offer your information through a variety of media?
Again, individuals’ learning styles vary. Some prefer to read information, while others prefer listening or watching. Some information is passively absorbed, while other information might be better understood and retained through interactive exercises. Some people are very comfortable with digital media, while others want to hold paper, or deal with a real person. Give your clients a variety of ways to take in your valuable information.
- Do your customers want to learn how to do it themselves, or pay someone to do it for them?This circles back around to the change I’m making in my business. No matter how well you teach me how to quickly and effectively clean my house, I’d always rather have someone else do it. Also, I can’t ever see myself interested in transcribing audio into written material.On the other hand, I love figuring out the best WordPress plug-in to supply the functionality a client’s looking for, or getting all the elements on a web page aligned just right. Of course, most people – including my target market – have absolutely no interest in learning how to do those things, much less actually doing them themselves.
In some cases, your customers may want to learn how to do some work for themselves. For example, my clients really appreciate being able to create and modify their own content in the WordPress sites I set up for them. In the “old” days before this great content management system had all the wonderful and comprehensive features it has today, clients would contact me for the smallest word changes to their static HTML sites. Yuch! This wasn’t fun work for me, and my clients were frustrated by the need to come to me for every little thing.
So, are you teaching your customers what they’d like to do for themselves and actually doing other things for them that they don’t want to do? Of course, you may have customers in both camps: some want to do a task themselves, while some want it done for them. Perhaps you’ll want to offer both a teach-you-to-do-it program and a do-it-for-you service.
Most of us create the products we like to create in the format we like to create them and hope our customers will feel the same way. Take the time to find out – you may be surprised what you learn!