Welcome to the April edition of Thryve Tidbits. This month’s tips will help you connect your brand and business model with your current and prospective customers.
Lessons Learned: Customer centered solution
Keep your target customer’s pain points at the heart of your product/service development process. There are opportunities to innovate your products/services and improve your value proposition to your customers regardless of your industry. Many industries are saturated with incumbents that stick to outdated business models and take their customers business for granted.
Don’t fall into the trap of spending the time and resources to perfect the next generation product when your customers aren’t interested. Work backwards. Consult with your current customers and prospects about where you and your competitors are failing to meet their needs. My experience has been customers are excited to talk about these topics when they see you are genuinely interested in solving their problems and removing obstacles to their success.
Book: Stories that Stick by Kindra Hall
Your customers are people and people love stories. The best brands weave their message to the customer into a story to deepen the emotional impact and unconscious connection to the brand and its products. The key parts of this book for me were:
- How to identify great stories to use (Stories happen to all of us. No excuses!)
- How to craft the story to accentuate value and target the message better once identified
- How to choose the right story for the situation
Questions for you to ponder:
- Do you have any of the following types of stories that you use during your sales process or as part of your branding?
- Founder story
- Purpose story
- Value story
- Customer story
2. How often do you buy products/services due to the story behind the product?
3. Do you document stories related to your business that you’re involved in or to use in the future?
Technology as a tool: Turning fee quotes into a sales generator
Think back on your experiences with proposals from contractors or vendors you worked with.
Did you ever have to sit waiting for days (or weeks) for a proposal after you already agreed with the vendor on scope and fees? How did you feel when you (eventually!) received a proposal that looked sloppy and unprofessional?
You may or may not have cancelled the sale, but it probably left a negative impression on you. The vendor looked at the proposal as just a transactional document. That perspective failed to grab the opportunity for an awesome customer experience. The client at this stage may be deciding whether to buy and the proposal will frame their view of the company or the client may be having second thoughts and needs rational support for their emotional impulse to buy.
Do you still use a word document or a template email for your proposals? You should consider taking up your game a notch to help your customers keep that excitement about their buying decision.
Consider a proposal software app. Proposify (www.proposify.com) is an example. The features that I like about this app are:
- Create template proposals for different services or customer groups
- Consistent look with branding across proposal types
- Interactive fee tables
- Electronic signatures
- Automations and integrations to remove manual entry waste from process
The result is quicker turnaround and a proposal look consistent with your brand’s messaging up to this point in the sales process.
Another option is to use the fee quotes feature built into your accounting software. This option does not have as many bells and whistles as a standalone proposal app but is more cost efficient. You will still be able to create templates to improve efficiency. You can also customize the look and wording of the fee quote.
Proposal apps deliver my favorite mixture: Time saver with improved customer experience.
Wishing you continued success and growth this month!
Founder and CEO, Thryve Group