The Fool-proof way to build a Successful Business - part 8

This is part eight in a series on building a successful business - if you missed the start you can catch up here.

Steps 3 and 4 are to make sure that the right people know about me, and make sure that they know why they should choose me above anyone else.

This is the area that I've struggled with the most. It's very hard to define a "vertical" target market for my services. I get the fear. What if I’m closing myself off to potential customers?

In fact, making this decision is probably the hardest business decision I’ve ever had to make. By narrowing my focus onto a particular group, I’m automatically ruling out a whole load of potential customers.

But this is actually an advantage, not a disadvantage. By focussing in, I can learn the right language, I can understand needs and I can build a better service. Which means I do a better job.

So I’ve decided that what I do works best for clients who have a relatively long sales cycle. They offer services, not products, that take a while to deliver and even longer for their clients to decide if it’s right for them. And because of the length of that sales cycle, it’s all to easy to lose track of leads or to send them the wrong signals at the wrong time. Tracking and making sure that the right message is sent at the right time - that’s exactly what I can help with.

So I’ve narrowed it down. Who has a long sales cycle and doesn’t want to stay on top of the details of what happens next? I settled on therapists, coaches and consultants - people who love speaking to people, who love going out there and getting their teeth into a problem. But probably are less interested in the dry, technical details of a sales funnel.

And why should they buy from me?

I've spent a lot of time and effort building my own sales process that is designed to make sure that the people I work with, my clients, are a good fit. I don't want to take your money. I only want to work with you if I know I can get results. So each stage of my sales process is designed to find that out - the questions I ask, the decisions I take, the process I follow.

I don’t want to work with you, dear therapist, coach or consultant, unless it looks like I can improve your sales by a large margin. And because I’m working with a narrow market, I’m getting better and better at doing that.

Take action: How does your sales process work? Why does each stage exist and what is it designed to prove?

PS: If know someone you feel might want a bit of help with this stuff, send them here

Rahoul Baruah

Rahoul Baruah

Rubyist since 1.8.6. Freelancer since 2007, dedicated to building incredible, low-cost, bespoke software for tiny businesses. Also CTO at Collabor8Online.
Leeds, England