One phrase that I hear often from sellers and businesses when they describe their offers really makes me cringe.
I hear it a lot from sellers trying to paint a broad picture to capture as much potential business as possible.
Yeah, I get crunchy when I hear, “We’re a One-Stop-Shop for all your needs.”
Yikes. What I hear is, “We do a lot of stuff but don’t specialize in anything but that’s okay because we’re super convenient and a good value.”
One-stop-shopping IS convenient. Sure, we’ve all been glad at some point that we could buy underwear, apples, and brake fluid at the same place but that doesn’t necessarily translate to how most business purchase decisions are made.
Those items are commodities you can purchase at that store but also most ANY of those stores’ competitors.
However, there’s a reason that Victoria’s Secret, Whole Foods, and AutoZone exist. People want more specialized products, solutions, and knowledgeable experts to solve their problems.
Especially when making purchasing decisions that impact a company, a division, employees, budgets, profits, et cetera.
Instead of selling yourself as a “One-stop-shop”, up your sales game and position yourself as offering a complimentary suite of services.
Nail this the right way and you’ll avoid being lumped into the herd of tap dancers that can “meet all your needs.”
To make a unique impression, stay top of mind, and sell multiple products/solutions, here’s a better way to position yourself:
Start with the one problem. Attack that first and prove you’re credible, knowledgeable and equipped. Knowing a customer can be a goldmine of opportunities gets us really excited but it’s harder demonstrate your competency and expertise when it’s spread too thin.
Don’t get greedy. Sure, your suite of services might be comprehensive and a good value to replace ALL their current vendors; however, it can be overwhelming for your buyers to risk a new relationship much less putting all their eggs in your ONE basket. That’s overwhelming and way risky in most situations.
Also, throwing up your entire company brochure does not mean anything to your customers until they connect your offer to a problem or process that they currently have. They probably don’t have ALL the problems you solve or need ALL the products you offer at this or any given point in time. They’re not going to recall everything you do.
Back when I was selling digital print services, there was almost NOTHING we couldn’t do. I had made my way into a marketing director of a large organization and explained ALL my offerings. They started using us to print training manuals. It was a great project and a great start to the relationship. About two months into the partnership, I met the director in her office and saw she had boxes of beautiful, full color, bound catalogs and was floored she didn’t at least give us a shot at producing them for her. I asked her about them and she said, “Oh, I didn’t realize you had those capabilities. It never crossed my mind.”
Hmmm. Probably because I had TOLD her what we could do instead of ASKING her what she might need. She didn’t relate to all 27 solutions I unloaded on her but if I had asked her about some of the projects she handled, what timelines she was working with, et cetera . . . we would have had a different outcome. Lesson learned.
Plant the seeds of your other offerings but start with one problem first (if you can, depending on your product/services) and then you can grow your relationship to include other products. Here’s what I learned about selling multiple solutions without resorting to that “One-Stop-Shop” mentality:
- Ask questions. Lead your customers to connect their problems to your solutions. They’ll be more connected to seeing you as their problem solver when they start walking through their current processes. For example, asking questions like, “How do you handle XYZ?” or “What’s your process for ABC?” or “What are similar projects/problems that you handle?”
- Introduce your team members or “experts.” Though you are well versed in all your offerings, you can increase your buyers’ comfort level by offering them your “specialists.” Bring in a technical person or an analyst, an engineer, a designer . . . someone to speak deeply to one facet of the problem with your customer. This helps your customers see you in a different light and they can grab onto both the person and personality you brought in to meet them as well as the deeper understanding of how you can help them.
- Meet more of your buyers’ team members. Expand your relationships and your understanding of the inner workings of your customer’s organizations. Meet the other people in their organization that are impacted by the problems, solutions, products, and challenges. You’ll stand out. Your customer will remember not just the product or solutions you provide, but that you are a problem solver – digging into all aspects of problems to understand the people and processes involved.
It’s tricky to offer a suite of solutions without going too broad that your customers don’t connect your capabilities with their problems. For the love of customers, ditch that “One-Stop-Shop” mentality and find a way to sell more to your customers by being more than convenient or cheap. Those are not reasons buyers build long-term relationships with you. They’ll leave you for someone else who is cheaper or easier . . . OR, they’ll leave you for someone who demonstrates more expertise, speciality, or deeper understanding of how to solve their problems.
Until next time, stop hoping and start SELLING!