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How Information Products Help Customers Say Yes Faster
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An unfortunate side effect of an economic slowdown like the one we're in currently, is spending slows down. If you're a small business owner the slowdown in spending shows up in two ways:
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913 Words; formatted to 65 Characters per Line Distribution Date and Time: 2009-04-15 10:12:00
Written By: Judy Murdoch Copyright: 2009 Contact Email: [email protected]
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How Information Products Help Customers Say Yes Faster Copyright (c) 2009 Judy Murdoch Highly Contagious Marketing www.judymurdoch.com/workbook.htm
An unfortunate side effect of an economic slowdown like the one we're in currently, is spending slows down.
If you're a small business owner the slowdown in spending shows up in two ways:
1. Some prospects and customers who might have said "yes" in the past are now saying no because they simply don't have the resources to pay you
2. Those who DO have the resources are take longer to say yes
This means less revenue coming in and if you own a small business, that's a big "ouch" for your bottom line.
What's funny about this situation in a not-so-funny way is that during economic downturns, your clients and customers need what you offer MORE THAN EVER!
Why? Because we're all in business to solve problems people have, right? Recessions typically multiply problems and amplify the pain we feel from those problems.
But we also become hyper-aware of the downside of our actions and we feel there's no wiggle room for error. We become extremely Risk Averse.
Whether or not their fear is founded in reality, customers step back and become less willing to do anything that is new or risky because they don't feel safe.
If you're having doubts whether you are offering something customers really need because your sales have slowed down, I'm suggesting it isn't that they don't need what you're selling--it's because these scary times are making them unusually risk averse and less willing to take chances.
To help your prospects and customers feel safer to spend, you need to reduce their perceived risk of working with you. There are many ways to do this including lowering your prices, doing one-day sales, etc. But I'm partial to creating information products because the benefits extend far beyond the immediate revenue streams they provide.
Information products reduce perceived risk for prospects and customers in two important ways:
1. It's easier to say "yes" to buying a $19 how-to guide than a six-month $4,000 consulting engagement.
2. When customers get results using your information products they develop confidence in your ability to deliver what you promise.
This makes it easy for your customers to feel good about buying your more expensive products and services.
How-to guides and tip sheets are my favorite low cost information products to offer because it's easy for your prospects to see the value they'll get.
* How-to guides teach them how to do something they've always wanted to do; step by step
* Tips sheets tell them how to do something better and get better results
The other thing I love about how to guides and tip sheets is they're easy to create because all you're really doing is answering a common question you get from customers.
Amy is a coach who works with what she called the corporate "walking wounded"; typically high level managers who have successful corporate careers but are tired of the cost to their personal lives.
Amy's core service is one on one coaching; typically clients work with her for six month intervals at $600 per month.
Amy has noticed that even though stress levels are higher than ever, people who once would have said "yes" to becoming one-on-one clients are now saying things like,
* "I'm just happy to have a job."
* "What if I get laid off, I'll need that $600"
* "What if I work with you and you don't help me?"
And they're putting off the possibility of working with her.
Amy asked herself "If there were just one thing I could do to help these folks what would that thing be?"
She realized that for busy, stressed out professionals, taking on something new would require very small, simple steps. Small to the point of being ridiculous.
So she did some brainstorming around small but significant changes her clients made and came up with over 100 small actions. She edited the steps down to 101 and created a booklet: 101 Ways to Have More Fun and Less Stress at Work.
She sells it on her website and brings a dozen hard copies to sell at networking events.
Amy is very clear that this booklet is not a substitute for her coaching services. However people who buy the booklet get some substantive help and a percentage of those who buy the booklet like what Amy has to say enough to eventually become one-on-one clients.
* Amy reduced the perceived risk of her services and has helped 50 prospective customers who otherwise would have put off working with her
* In addition, two prospects who otherwise may not have hired her, felt confident enough about what she had to offer that they signed up and became one-on-one coaching clients.
During challenging times such as our current economic uncertainty, your customers become very sensitive to perceived risk and less willing to commit their time and money -- especially when it comes to buying new products and services.
If you aren't currently selling information products that enable prospects to get a small but significant taste of what you can do for them, you are missing an opportunity to bring more revenue to your business AND to help more customers sooner than later. My best to you and your business.