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You need fresh strategies to strive in a tight economy

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By the BusinessLink team

Many SMEs owners are feeling like the captain of a sinking ship, not knowing what to do to keep their businesses afloat


The challenge facing the majority of SMEs in Zimbabwe is that of slow business. Sales are simply low; people are reluctant to buy as they try to juggle their priorities between their most immediate needs and investing in their businesses.
A business owner recently told me that he is very interested in sending his staff to one of the customer care courses that we offer, but he fears they may not appreciate it as he is behind in paying their salaries. With similar situations facing many businesses, you need to change your strategy if you are going to sell anything.
Strengthen Your Value Propositions
Without strong value propositions, you can’t set up meetings with prospects or get them to change from the status quo. It is that important.
What is a value proposition? It’s a clear statement about the business outcomes that customers get from using your product, service or solution. If tells them the impact that switching from the status quo or buying your product or service will have on their bottom line, operational efficiency, productivity or revenue growth.
How can you tell if your value proposition is strong enough? It’s easy. After you say it, your prospect says, “Ooh. That’s interesting. Tell me more.” If that’s not happening, it’s a sign that your message is too weak to be effective.
Set yourself a challenge to uncover the real business case for making a change. Start by asking your recent (not long-term) customers:
• How has our (product / service) helped your company?
• What value has our product/service provided?
• Compared to what you were doing before, what difference is it making?
Know More about Relevant Issues
In a tight economy, sellers who demonstrate expertise about issues, challenges and processes that bring high value to their customers invariably win – even at higher prices. To become a truly invaluable resource you have to know more now than ever before. Being an entrepreneur or in sales today requires you to be a business improvement specialist.
Perhaps your product or service fits into a workflow. If so, become an expert on project management, working across the gap between departments or related processes.
You don’t develop expertise by sitting on your butt either. Every single day you need to spend time learning about things your customers deem valuable. Invest 30 minutes per day reading, asking questions, attending seminars, networking and staying ahead of the curve. That’s what experts do.
Feedback, email to chichonip@smebusinesslink.com

BusinessLink’s mission is to provides insights,  resources and opportunities that will accelerate your business’ growth. Visit our website http://smebusinesslink.com for more resources.

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