We should first ask ourselves the question: Are we selling an innovative service or an innovative product, or are we just copying our competitors, whereby the potential customers are really only interested in the price, since the offer is infinite?
Why should we ask this particular question?
Regardless of whether we want to sell the services of electricians, software developers, German teachers or marketing experts, or we focus on the sale of peanut butter, ice cream or boccia-ramp, in the end we should be interested in the answer to the following questions: Who is my customer? What does my customer need? When does my customer need it? What can I offer my customer? How can I offer it to my customer? Why should my customer choose my products or services? Do I offer my customers a personalized solution based on their needs? What else could help my customer? How can I increase my customer’s satisfaction?
In our experience, the most important question only comes afterwards: am I offering my customer something innovative (an innovative, not yet achievable solution that makes their life or work better, more beautiful, more effective, faster, more comfortable, cheaper, i.e. more positive) or am I just offering one more solution that he can get and buy somewhere else?
To answer the question, let’s take an example. The situation in the German market in the last 15 years has resulted in more than 50,000 rental companies and more than 11,000 temporary employment agencies wanting to “sell” their employees.
15 years ago only 8,000 temporary employment agencies did this in Germany. The rental companies and temporary employment agencies “bomb” the smallest and largest companies these days – looking for new employees – almost every hour. Objective: recruitment or rental.
The rental companies and temporary employment agencies mentioned hardly offer any innovation. The questions you ask your customers: How many employees do you need? When do you need them? What kind of qualifications are you looking for? And what are they paying? Innovation? Often always no. Because of this, it leads to recruitment or rental being based on networking and lobbying. Who knows who? Who opens the door to whom? But if any rental company or temporary employment agency comes onto the market with a complex innovation, the chessboard is shuffled again.
Perseverance = trust building. Why and how?
Innovation alone is no guarantee of success. As Eric Ries recommends in his book Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses (2011),
“Instead of creating a complex plan based on a multitude of assumptions, we adjust the plan using a “steering wheel” referred to as the creation-measurement-experience feedback loop, to the circumstances over and over again. Thanks to this governance process, we always know when a change of direction is necessary and when we need perseverance in order to stay on the established path.”Eric Ries – Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses (2011),
And perseverance means trust building. In the past, sales experts used to do it through regular customer visits, letters, small gifts, building friendships, recommendations etc., nowadays, in addition to the practices mentioned, it can be achieved through the so-called followers and their convictions.
Every company generates something much more valuable besides income. Something that is unaffordable: Experience and knowledge.
If you are ready to pass this experience and knowledge on to your followers (potential customers), to deliver solution over knowledge, you are on the right track to convince them and build their trust.
How can you find out what your potential customers need?
How can you test your innovation on the customer and get their feedback?
How can you reach more potential customers with your innovation?
How can you increase the number of your followers?
How can you build the trust of your customers and lead them to buy your products or services?