Selling what people WANT and NEED, but not what they have to be DESPERATE for

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Do you pass on the name of the locksmith who got you back into your car, unless a friend is locked out of theirs?

How often are you nearby when a friend is in an emergency situation that you’ve also been in?

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No, I haven’t been locked out of my car recently, but returning from a little Independence Day fun last week, I ran out of some crucial supplies.

It doesn’t matter what the supplies were. We stopped at a small store that carried what we needed, got the supplies, and went on our way. That got me thinking about emergencies of various kinds, and your small business:

Emergency products or services just don’t scale.

If it ain’t broke…

If you have to wait ‘til something’s broke or used up for customers to need you, or

if the customer you think you should target is so cheap that they’ll stay in a holding pattern until an emergency arises,

…then you just can’t achieve viral or exponential growth.

Slow, steady growth, maybe, but not a steep, viral growth curve.*

Causing your own stall?

Even if you really delivered and your customers had a great Experience with you, there’s no reason for them to tell friends, when they know their friends are not in the emergency situation—and the excitement about buying from you is forgotten as quickly as the urgent need fades.

Think carefully about what you sell and how you present it to potential buyers.

It’s possible that you’ve stalled your own growth by making it seem as if you’re the guy to know in an emergency—and to call, ONLY in an emergency.

In that case, you have two choices:

Expand on your expertise: change or add to what you sell so that there are related, non-emergency products or services in your line as well;

Change your presentation (website copywriting, brochures, ads, in-person sales) to show how what you offer can be just as useful when purchased before an emergency (or maybe even better, if it can save money or prevent some disaster by being purchased earlier).

What’s the difference between “customers who know they have a want or a need” and “customers who are having an emergency” in your business?

How can you find more of the first group, in order to grow your sales and word-of-mouth referrals?

 

Grow and be well,

Kelly Erickson

 

*Unless—there’s always an unless—unless you’ve found a large, untapped market of people in this emergency-need situation with no current solution available.**

**Not very likely.