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I’m not talking literally.  I’m thinking about mind space in your customers’ eyes.

I bet you want to be top of mind.  I bet you would like your product or service be the first thing a customer or potential customer thinks about in your product category.

Why would your product come up first?

I have a problem.  When a business owner thinks of creating value in a business I can guarantee that my name usually doesn’t come up first.  In fact, it doesn’t come up .00001% of the time.  That’s not a good thing.

It’s why I’ve decided to start a new business where it’ll be easier for my company to come up first.  I’ve decided to eat my own cooking.  I have a business where we service wealth management firms that do over $2,000,000 per year in gross sales.  There’s about 3,000 of these firms in the country.  I should be able to gain traction with this group.  I’m a category expert in this area and I know where these folks hang out.

What about you?  Do you have a small enough niche where you are one of the first people think about to solve their problems?

Are you specialist and can you demonstrate that you solve a specific problem?

Is your expertise one that you can demonstrate that you’ve created extreme value for your customers?  When you have a conversation with a potential client can you show them specifically what they need to do to get a real return on investment by using your services?

One of the things I really like about the Internet is that it’s taught more businesses to evaluate the value they get from a service.  That’s because almost everything that happens on the Internet can be measured.  I think you need to have a process that helps you demonstrate to a potential customer that you have the ability to demonstrate your value.  With us it’s called the Alignment Conversation.

Do you have a reputation as an expert?

How much time do you spend managing your reputation.  This is where you get to demonstrate to the greater world that you know what you’re talking about.  I have regular conversations with people who contact me because they believe I’ve demonstrated a certain level of expertise. 

How do I do it?  I thought you’d never ask.  I do it through my writing and comments that I leave on writing other people do.  I have lots of cookies I’ve left around the online world that makes it easy for people to find me.

Do you serve anyone who comes along?

I hope your answer is no.  You can’t be all things to all people.  At some point you have to start saying no.  You need to do this for two reasons.  First, you can’t effectively solve every problem that’s placed in your path. 

Second, you need to know what you’re good at.  You need to know how you help others achieve value.  And you need to do it over and over again.  You’ll become an expert and you’ll be efficient.  Both are recipes for having personal success as well as moving your business to the top shelf.

Think niche and think micro-niche.

The more narrow you can make who your business serves the better.  I bet your business has less than twenty employees.  If you do, there is absolutely no reason you don’t say no far more than you say yes.  You should look for a small niche you can dominate.

In my case if I get 50 clients, I have a business with more success than I can imagine.  That’s not even 1% of the market.  Since I have high requirements of clients this is a good thing for me.  You might want to shoot for a niche that’s small enough that you could have a 5% or 10% share.  When you serve a really small niche, you do truly have the opportunity to move to the top shelf in your customers mind.  Isn’t that something you’re dying to have happen?

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Topics: creating value, value proposition, market share

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