Put a hundred small business owners in a room and you’re likely to hear a hundred different stories of how they became successful. You’ll find people as different as night and day. People from all walks of life and with varying strengths and skills. But look closer and you’ll begin to see commonalities. While their stories will differ, there are also common talents among those who are successful. Take a look and see if you recognize yourself.
1. They can share about their business and value in a way that intrigues.
What do you do? Tell me about your business.
Are you able to share in a concise statement specifically how your business helps people? Can you share in a non-promotional way how you differ from the competition?
Why this is important: When you understand what differentiates you from the competition and the benefits your customers gain from working with you, it will be easier to prospect for new clients and recognize opportunities. Your business purpose becomes the foundation for all of your business marketing and networking.
Take a look at a document storage company, which is a service that might be used by businesses like law firms, investment firms, or medical offices, that are required by law to protect the privacy of information.
Instead of saying – I own a document storage company…
A better statement would be – We protect companies from records management failures. This sparks interest which can then lead to… Failures costs companies millions each year, but our team stays up-to-date on the latest legislation and technology to make sure that your company is completely secure and compliant.
2. They prove their value and expertise without labels.
This is a tough one. You want people to know that you are really good at what you do, but you have to be careful with using labels. Few words evoke an eye roll faster than the word expert. Enter ‘expert’ in the search box on Twitter or LinkedIn and your search will return thousands of names. The label of expert is earned, not touted, and it has become so overused it just isn’t believable.
Why this is important: Being able to prove your value forces you to look closely at your business processes and make sure that what you are doing is working. It helps keep your services or product relevant.
Instead of saying you are an expert in your field, demonstrate your expertise by sharing results. Here are a few ideas.
Tie your extensive training/education and experience to content.
Have you taken a training or received certification that benefits your clients? Write an article that shares why this helps your clients. Why is this skill so important to your audience? Tie statistics to real life examples. Share why doing business with someone who doesn’t have this skill could cost a client money or business.
In your marketing messaging, focus on results and quantifiable statements of value.
Share client testimonials – Include a client testimonial that supports the claims you make in your marketing, on your website, and on your digital channels. The more information you can include about the person giving the testimony, the better, such as full name, company and title.
88% of people trust reviews written by other consumers as much as they trust recommendations from personal contacts. [BrightLocal]
Write an article, blog post or mini case study featuring your solution to a big problem among your audience.
81% of consumers search online before buying a product or service. [MineWhat]
Build a client referral system – When you are in the market for a new product or service, what is the first step you take? Hint: It’s the same first step most people take. We ask for referrals.
84% of consumers say they trust recommendations from family and friends about products and services –[Nielson]
3. They can sell.
If you can’t sell your product or service, it will be hard for others to buy it. If this is a weakness for you, it’s imperative that you fix it, and soon. Consider training or coaching to help you. In a recent article on myMarketing Cafe, Brad Farris, a small business advisor, shares excellent tips for improving your sales abilities.
Why this is important: Trust is the number one factor for building long-term relationships. Trust yourself and your abilities and learn to share your story effectively and with confidence. You’ll connect on a deeper level with your clients and be better able to serve them.
Are the other talents you’ve seen? Add to the list in the comments.