In today’s business world, it is extremely easy to become overwhelmed with everything that comes our way, ranging from which social media platforms we should be on and how to manage their algorithms, to understanding the latest marketing trends that will allow us to grow our businesses in the best way possible, in today’s market.
That said, I personally believe that there are some basics that never go out of style and can be implemented in almost any moment and market. Here are five of the basics in business that I swear by based on my own thirty-plus years as a businessperson.
Basic #1: Price Question or Objection
When talking about pricing with a client or prospect, it is important to differentiate between when they have a price objection and when they simply have a price question. Sometimes, the person that you are speaking with just wants to understand the price a little bit more and therefore may ask you a few questions to clear up a few points.
A price objection is something completely different; this is where the person you are speaking with starts to point out that your competitor is cheaper, and they want to know why. When faced with this, I always acknowledge their concern, take a slightly different approach, and respond with a question like, “How do you think they can ask such a low price?”
This normally opens up a very interesting dialogue, whereby the client or prospect starts to understand that quality and experience normally cost more, and that while you may get a cheaper price, you may not necessarily get the same level of service.
Understanding the difference between a price question and a price objection is a vital part of sales, and knowing how to handle both effectively will keep you ahead of the game.
Basic #2: Get the Pareto Principle Working for You
The first time I came across the Pareto principle, I was fascinated, as essentially it means that in many situations, approximately 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes.
Some examples are:
- 20% of employees produce 80% of the results.
- 20% of the richest humans have 80% of the world’s wealth.
- 20% of bugs cause 80% of software problems.
When you take the Pareto principle and apply it to your business, you will more than likely discover, as most business owners do, that 20% of your customers account for 80% of your sales.
If this is the case, then it makes sense that you dedicate your efforts to making sure that this 20% of your client base, always has an excellent client experience, given that they generate 80% of your sales.
Do not rest on your laurels with these clients; get granular about how you can serve them better, and most of all, listen to what their changing needs are and adapt to them swiftly.
Basic #3: Don’t Get Trapped in Discounts
One of the most common mistakes made in sales is to always discount the product to make the sale. The problem with this is that when you discount your product, you automatically discount its value as well. If the discount seems suspicious, it is only human nature to question the quality of the product. Many companies do this until they have no margins and end up struggling to survive. Also, clients normally do not associate cheap with quality.
Have you ever walked into Hermes, Vuitton, or Graff and seen a discount bin? Of course not! They are focused on providing quality products that people are happy to pay for. When you are the best in the market, you don’t have to price like the others. Also, discounts attract cheap clients, who will always want even lower prices!
The truth is, most clients are looking for quality products that solve their problems, not discounts. Buying the cheap version often leads to buying the more expensive one to get the job done.
It’s normal to get fearful when you’re not reaching your targets, but the only guaranteed result of discounts is lower or no margins.
Basic #4: Recognize When Your Team Is in Trouble
While putting together a new team some time ago, I paid particular attention to lessons I’ve learned during my career, especially the importance of having an engaged team to guarantee a phenomenal customer experience. A low-energy, unfocused team will have tremendous challenges reaching goals, targets, and objectives. Here are three warning signs to look out for:
1. Low commitment to teamwork. If your staff does not engage in teamwork with enthusiasm and without being told all the time, this will create major issues sooner or later.
2. Little or no team input or feedback. Again, if a team is not enthusiastic in its input or feedback, you will soon find yourself dancing alone, and this can make the formulation of new ideas very challenging.
3. A reactive mentality instead of a proactive one. A problem will spread like wildfire in an office when the approach is reactive, and it will be very hard to contain the inevitable helplessness that mentality brings.
Pay specific attention to these three areas, especially if you want to build an engaged, enthusiastic, and productive team.
Basic #5: Magnify Your Talents
It is not the case that when there is a major disruption in the market, every business model struggles, and the cracks begin to show in its relevancy. There are many business owners who have a talent that achieves incredible results for their clients and, as such, get paid handsomely for their talent.
If your business model is looking obsolete, you have no choice but to pivot. However, on the other hand, if you have a well-oiled business, the question to ask yourself is, “How can I make it better?”. Making your talent better and, therefore, more valuable could include:
- Working with a business mentor to make your talent more polished and attractive.
- Onboarding new people/contractors to handle additional work.
- Getting the message about your talent out to more people.
- Evaluating compatible line extensions that can be added to your core talent.
- Taking courses and trainings that can add value to your talent.
Sometimes we underestimate a talent, especially if it is an innate one, but never forget, that it’s these very talents that normally have the most value in the marketplace, if they are positioned, marketed, and sold correctly.
If you require any case-specific assistance, please feel free to contact me www.damienofarrell.com
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