A recent visit to a local boutique was a stark reminder of the main drawback of trying to be all things to all people…
This shop is filled with many beautiful pieces of clothing, jewellery, accessories, giftware and even food. But there’s a problem: too much to choose from! The ‘noise’ of all the possible options meant the choice I made was to leave the shop in search of somewhere less cluttered and less overwhelming.
OK – so I’ve never worked in retail but I have had decades of experience as a shopper! It surprises me how hard some retailers make if for us to actually purchase from them. Everything from overcrowded displays to lack of staff are barriers to actually handing over the cash.
What about your service business?
“You can’t please all of the people all of the time” was something my father used to say when I was disappointed about something. If he was still around when I started in business, he might have reminded me to be more selective about the services we offer our clients.
Over the years – and it’s an ongoing process – I’ve gradually applied greater discipline to what we will and will not do as well as who we will and will not do it with. I’m constantly reminding myself that just because we can do something doesn’t mean we should.
What’s the situation in your business? Is it easy for a prospect to know exactly what you can do for them?
In my work with professional service firms, I understand the anxiety they often experience when confronted with the prospect of being more finely focussed regarding who they serve and what they do. Once they push through that anxiety, I’ve seen a number of related benefits arise for business owners:
1. Freedom to have the business they want to have, instead of the business they think the should have. (This is most important because it’s closely linked to the freedom to be themselves.)
2. Prospects make faster decisions about working (or not working) with them, shortening the buying cycle.
3. Staff have more clarity about what the business does and their role in it.
4. They have more confidence to say ‘no’ to the wrong clients and more enthusiasm when saying ‘yes’ to the right clients.
5. By becoming experts in their specialty, they grow in business knowledge, skills and reputation.
All these things have a positive impact on the business productivity and profitability.
What will you do to make choice easier in your business?