When you brainstorm with your team and think of ways to improve your small business, the three most common areas to consider are: Product, Pricing, and Customer Service.
How do we increase sales?
(A) …focus on making our product better?
(B) …lower our prices?
(C) …invest more money, time and effort into customer service?
How about: (D) None of the Above.
There is another aspect to your business that’s so vitally important but so often overlooked. That thing is… Convenience.
People are busy, people are distracted. We have hundreds of things coming our way every hour of every day. We’re bombarded with advertisements, emails, texts, social media, and other distractions that tend to move us towards options with the least amount of resistance. Oftentimes we don’t even realize it!
You FAVOR convenience every single day.
Do you have a favorite restaurant you go to all the time, and sometimes think: “You know… that meal just didn’t hit the spot!”?
If it’s not the best meal you can find, why do you keep going there? Perhaps because it’s easy, it’s familiar, you know how to get there, you know where you are going to park, you know the staff. In fact you probably already know exactly what you are going to order before you sit down!
You have chosen convenience above all other considerations.
When you need office supplies, or want to get that new snorkeling mask, do you hop in your car and start driving around town? No. You stay in your comfortable home, probably sitting on your comfy couch, and you go to Amazon to shop the easy way.
Is Amazon the cheapest option out there? No.
Do you get to touch and feel things before you buy? No.
But does Amazon make it dead simple for you to shop, buy and even return items? ABSOLUTELY. You can shop for hundreds of different styles of pens and snorkeling masks, read reviews from buyers just like you, and buy with a single click.
Amazon completely understands the power of convenience and has thus become the world’s largest online retailer.
How to incorporate convenience into your Business?
Instead of brainstorming Product, Pricing and Customer Service, brainstorm ways to make it easier for your customers to do business with you.
Marketing guru, Dean Jackson, puts it this way:
“You can never go wrong betting on people’s appetite for convenience.”
There are things right in front of you, where you can make simple adjustments to make the customer journey a breeze. Take your “business owner hat” off and look at your business with a fresh set of eyes, like your customers do.
You will immediately see things that are making it difficult for your customers. There are obstacles all over your business that YOU have put in place for one reason or another. In reality, YOU are part of the problem. YOU are part of the Sales PREVENTION Team!
As soon as you start identifying the obstacles that are making it hard to do business with you, you might find yourself getting defensive and here comes your excuses:
Product – Well, we had to build it that way, our consultant said it was the best way.
Pricing – But if we simplify our pricing, we don’t know what will happen to our sales.
Service – We can’t offer phone support – it’s just too costly.
Accounting – Oh, well we have to do it that way, our system won’t allow it any other way.
Website – Yeah, we know our website is clunky and old, but people will understand what we do once they get there.
Smooth Customer Experience – We can’t improve that – we just don’t have the staffing to do it the right way.
Confusing Paperwork – Our attorney said it has to be that way. We can’t simplify it.
History – That’s the way we’ve always done it. If it ain’t broke – don’t fix it…right?
Fear – Oh, not sure we want to change THAT. What if that hurts our bottom line?
A better way to look at things.
Instead of thinking of all the reasons you can’t remove the obstacles, think of how MORE customers and HAPPIER customers will impact your business.
Maybe if you had more sales (and thus more money flowing), you could afford to make some changes to simplify things. But the key is that you have to make the investment first.
Don’t be on the Sales Prevention Team. Remove those barriers in your business that are making it hard for people to give you money.
Remember, people want convenience. Make it as easy as possible for them to do business with you.