Profits Plus Rapid Impact Series – USP&G

Welcome back! Hope you had a great summer.

It’s no surprise that we hear how challenging the past few years have been. What’s interesting however is the way in which some companies have redefined this crisis as an opportunity to reevaluate, retool, recalibrate, and resolve to succeed. At MV, our tag line has always been that some of the best managed companies use our software. After hearing some of the stories from our customers, we are convinced that this is true. Starting this month we are introducing the “Profits Plus Rapid Impact Toolkit Series”.

This series is designed to provide specific tools and actions that you can implement in your business today, using the Profits Plus software to enhance your customer retention, increase your profits, and the value of your business.

We bring you this series in collaboration with Mr. Dominic Sorresso of AdviCoach, an international network of business coaches. Dominic is also available for individual consulting if you wish to take a deeper dive into any of these topics. You can reach him at dsorresso@advicoach.com.

We will kick-off the series with a topic that is near and dear to every business owner’s heart: How to ramp-up sales in a challenging environment.

Each article will have the following sections:

1. Rapid impact strategy – “what”

2. Reasoning behind it – “why”

3. Implementation process and tools – “how”

4. Measurement of results and progress – “how it’s working”

What: Rapid Impact Strategy: Unique Selling Proposition and Guarantee
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Have you ever wondered why your customers do business with you? It’s a sometimes uncomfortable but critical question that every business owner needs to know. The clarity with which you can answer that question and incorporate it in your marketing messages is directly related to the success of your business. This is your Unique Selling Proposition and Guarantee (USP)

Your USP is the foundation for your marketing messages. It projects why your business not only appears different, BUT that the difference is unique and relevant to the needs of your customer. It offers your prospects compelling reason(s) why they should do business with YOU instead of your competitors. Not only are you different than your competitors, but HOW are you BETTER than all the rest.

Why: Differentiate yourself and provide constant value

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Let’s start by recognizing that purchase decisions are based on both conscious and sub-conscious factors in our minds. The conscious factors are rational and objective. Typically, these rational factors must be present for us to at least consider purchasing, but they may not determine the ultimate decision itself.

The unconscious factors are those that result in emotional gratification. They avoid anything uncomfortable and are attracted by pleasant associations and perceptions, and the promise of good results based on the conscious mind’s conclusions and judgments. These unconscious factors are more pronounced in higher-priced or higher-risk decisions.

The most important part: Both rational and emotional factors must be positive for a purchase decision to be made, but in cases where two or more attractive choices are present, the emotional factors will trump the rational factors every time!

How: Use the 12 Question Tool:
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Any good USP must take into account who the prospects are, how they think, what’s important to them when they buy, what exactly they need and want, etc. It needs to understand the customer drivers, both rational emotional.

Here are some examples of questions designed to get you thinking about your prospects:

1. What scenarios or situations make your prospects first consider buying what you sell

2. What needs, frustrations, fears, or pain do your prospects experience that motivate them to buy?

3. What do your prospects feel they need and expect as a result of their purchase?

4 . What would your prospects be delighted to receive as a result of their purchase if they could reasonably expect them?

5. What assurance can you give your prospects that they will not experience what they dread if they buy from you?

6. What problems, frustrations, or challenges do your prospects expect to face when dealing with your industry in general (e.g. trades-people showing up late or leaving a mess or service professionals not returning phone calls)?

7. What potential problems, frustrations, or challenges do your prospects dread when they think of buying what you sell?

8. What would be good for your prospects to know as they make their buying decision that are not typically understood about your industry?

9. How is your company positioned to uniquely deliver not only what your prospects expect, but also what will delight them?

10. What kind of information will give your prospects assurance about their buying decision?

11. What kind of information can you give your prospects to emphasize the uniqueness of your company?

12. What assurance would you like to be able to give your prospects that they will not experience what they dread if they buy from you?

How it’s working: Implementing measurements in Profits Plus

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The following three metrics can help you keep track of your USP rapid impact strategy:

1. Number of in-bound inquiries: Keep track of all the inquiries and leads generated during a time period. This is the basic measurement that says, “how well are we marketing that it is resulting in customers and prospects asking us for work”.

In Profits Plus, the first thing that needs to be put in place is a discipline of opening a quote for every inbound request. This ensures that all requests are being tracked. When a quote is converted to real business, the quote should be converted to an order and then an invoice when a sale is made.

To report out periodically this information, after the invoices from the holding file are posted run the following reports:

a. Open order status report by order date (ORDSTA) and

b. Order history report sorted by order date (OHSANA)

The sum of all the orders for a particular order date range is the total number of inquiries received by the company within that date range.

2. Conversion rate: This shows you how many of the inbound inquiries were converted to sales. The data from the reports gathered above can easily give you this information as follows:

Conversion rate = ___________(# of Invoices)______________

(# of Invoices + # of Open Orders and Quotes)

3. Revenue per customer: This is a measure of how productive your customer relationships are. The larger the revenue per customer, in general the more profitable the relationship because the cost of maintaining a customer account is compensated by a larger dollar inflow.

For a particular period, this can be determined by using the information from the report in 1 b. as follows:

Revenue per customer = _ _____Total Sales Amount___________

# of distinct customer accts in history orders

The last measure can be further enhanced to be broken down by product or service line.

You could also use Maxene Reporter to automate these reports and to get an excel spreadsheet containing all this information in one file.

There is an expression: “Inspect what you expect”. The first step in the path of enhancing something is to define its fundamental drivers and to measure them regularly.

As you start measuring this information and begin to understand it, you will begin to gather valuable insight into the motivations, needs, and desires of your customers. This insight will give you vital information on where the company is performing well and where it needs to improve relative to serving customers. Armed with this information you can then set in place the necessary steps to continue to do the things that it does well, fix things that it doesn’t, and lead it to increased profitability and company value.

We hope that you have found this newsletter useful and are always looking for feedback. Please send us your comments at: support@mvsoftware.com.

Thank you for being such a great customer.

The MV Software Team

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