The riches are in the niches!
Have you heard that phrase before? I have heard this countless times and a quick Google search on that phrase reveals over half a million results. But with this, comes some danger. That is, as soon as something becomes a little more mainstream it tends to suffer from abuse. So, when I have a customer or prospect who gleefully nods their head in acknowledgement of this cliché phrase and I then press harder about what they are doing about it, I discover that they are merely scratching the surface. Consequently, there is little pay-off for their efforts.
I have no doubt that for you to be super successful at what you do, you absolutely need to identify your niche. Start by mastering one and then over time add more. In this article I would like to discuss how to develop your sales dialogue specifically around your niche.
Most sales training in the past revolved around understanding our product and then demonstrating our expertise by listing the features and benefits. In other words, customers will only buy our product or service if it offered benefit to them. After we had gone through this sales ritual we either get the order or we embarked on our arsenal of objection handling and closing techniques. Sound familiar? In fact, of the sales training that you currently give or receive, how much of this is about your product, the features and benefits and how much is about your sales technique: effectively dialling into your customer? Answer that now, before moving on!
What’s the problem with this tried & tested method? Well firstly it puts all the pressure on you the sales person to perform, it barely scratches the surface of allowing you to really understand the customer needs and today most of your customers will see this as “salesy”, just as you will when it is done on you.
Next on the evolutionary sales technique ladder, was when more experienced sales people who had learnt that the above approach is hard work, so they embarked more into a conversation to uncover what are 2 or 3 wants from the customer and then offload their solution referring to these wants. This is better than the first approach but still relies on you “performing”, and tends to still focus on presenting features and benefits of your product, something that 75% of your prospects have no interest in at all.
There is a better, simpler method to execute your sales process that is used by the top sales converters in the world. Although this approach may initially be harder to master than others, it is possible for everyone to achieve. Understanding how you are wired: your behavioural type, will assist you in getting there faster. For this I recommend you undertake a DISC assessment. The DISC will highlight some of your blind spots in terms of how you communicate with others and how they perceive you.
This effective method is about getting to bottom of why your prospect is interested in your product. Seldom is the first reason given the true reason: you need to get to the core, and this is only achieved by you asking the right questions, going deep and getting your prospect to do 75% of the talking. Depending on what your product is, will depend how deep you go and what “aha” moment your prospect will experience. You will know when you get there because they will be telling you why they believe your product is for them rather than visa versa. Developing the dialogue around this is a big part of our sales intensive training and coaching programme.
Now tie this to your niche! Challenge your thinking about your focus on your niche. Typically, we all naturally want to sell our product to just about anyone who is willing to part with their money. That is all good because it may bring in a sale, but do you develop raving fans by doing this? Do you build a business that when your competitors look at you they think you are bullet proof? Unless you build a fortress around your niche the riches that you get from identifying and playing in this market will be temporary and vulnerable. In fact, it will force you out of your possible niche and you will likely become another commodity provider whose time is taken up with businesses servicing customers, most of who are not an ideal match to what you really offer.
Are you all good with this thinking so far? Does it all make sense? Is it so logical that you think this message is too simple, or maybe you think that it does not relate to you and your product? Or maybe you have some volume targets to reach and you cannot afford to niche? Whatever you are thinking on this, you are correct. If, however you would like to reach another, higher level of success I challenge you to take some serious quality time out and to reconfigure your sales model, your niche identification and how you can improve your bottom line and build a fortress through raving fans by you exactly meeting your customers’ needs. Why am I so confident that this works? Well firstly this is one of the key areas where we are getting results through our sales training and coaching program, and secondly this is what the top 5% of truly successful sales people are doing out there. As you get more confident with this approach based on your success of firstly winning business but also commanding a better price premium, so will you be able to slowly add to your number of niches. But caution here, each niche is serviced individually according to their needs. Master one niche at a time.
Reach out to me if you would like to explore what is your opportunity for improving your prospect conversion rate. Regards Sean