What’s Your Small Business Superpower?

  • AUTHOR: Stacy Karacostas
  • DATE: 10/31/2009

Do you have your very own small business "superpower"? And if so, is it really helping you attract clients or make sales?

You know the old conversation starter, "If you could have one Superhero power, what would it be?" Always a fun and revealing way to get interesting insight into strangers, friends and acquaintances, right?

Now, I doubt entrepreneurs get asked this in the context of their small business, but many function as though they do have a superpower. And from my experience that special power is typically NOT helping them grow their business. Let me give you a few classic examples…

Mind Reading

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Do you know exactly what your customers need?

Can you say, for sure, that your clients do or don’t engage in certain behaviors (like reading emails or ebooks, watching videos, or listening to audios)?

Or that your prospects simply won’t pay more than $X?

Have you?

If you answered yes, and you’ve never conducted a customer survey or are not continuously asking your clients questions about their challenges, your mind reading powers are probably letting you down.

That’s because we humans tend to assume everyone is like us…If you hate reading long sales letters, you assume they do too. If you don’t like listening to audio, you assume they don’t either. And we all know what happens when you ass-u-me something.

It’s much better, and more effective, to simply ask. Ask in person, on the phone, in an evaluation, or via email using a handy service like surveymonkey.com. If you use email, be sure to offer an incentive for participating and keep it short and sweet.

The Ability to Disappear

Do you go to networking meetings, get a fistful of cards, then never make time to follow up?

Do you typically send clients just that one, obligatory, thank you or holiday card (if that)?

Do you talk to prospects, then fail to get back in touch?

If so, then you clearly have the power to disappear. Because when you’re competing against a thousand things for people’s attention, out of sight is out of mind.

To stay top of mind you need processes for following up and keeping in touch regularly. That way when they’re ready to buy your prospects think of you first.

Super Stretch Arms

Are you trying to sell to your products or services to everyone under the sun?

If you believe your target market is really broad, like moms, men, or anyone with money, you’re reaching too far. It’s extremely expensive to try to reach an audience that broad. Plus you have to make all your messaging so generic, you won’t end up connecting with anyone.

Instead, hone in on one person who has a serious pain or problem you can solve, and is willing, likely and able to buy what you’re selling. Find and speak just to them about how you can help and soon you’ll have all the business you can handle.

Shape Changing

Do you offer multiple, totally unrelated products and services?

I regularly run across people at networking meetings trying to promote multiple products or services in one, 30-second elevator speech (Like: screenprinter, real estate agent and dog trainer).

Do this and people won’t remember what you’re really good at. Plus you’ll seem like a jack-of-all-trades, master-of-none.

You need to focus solely on the one thing people most want—at least up front. Combine that with messaging meant to catch the ear of your ideal client and your chances of success go way, way up.

The Power to Save Everyone in Distress

Do you charge less than you could so more people can take advantage of your services?

Do you regularly give deep discounts so you can get more customers?

If so, you’re doing yourself and your clients a big disservice. First, because they won’t value what you do. Second, because if you don’t make enough to pay your bills, you’ll soon be out of business and unable to help anyone.

So charge what you’re worth. If you want or need to discount your fees, be sure to reduce the scope of your work as well. In other words, if they’re going to pay less, they should expect to get less for their money.

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