5 Jan 2021, 10:32 — 3 min read
I run a gift business when I'm not doing my day job. During peak gift-giving season, you can't avoid any last-minute orders.
In sales, being a 'yes man' is a must in order to close deals – even up to trying to offer everything (even your soul!) just to make a sale.
But when you enter the startup world, being the 'yes man' is exhausting. Think pareto principle: 80% of your effort makes up only 20% of your revenue and vice versa. You might end up spending more time for a client who only ordered 1 piece over a client who ordered 100 pieces.
If you are not sure if you can meet a client's demand, learn to decline and refer. The cost of earning a bad reputation for failing to meet a customer's expectations is far greater than making that sale.
You have to know your worth, and most especially know your value proposition and capabilities. This is why in mentoring startups, a market segment and value proposition are required to maximize traction with the capacity of a 3-5 person team.
Thus, for small businesses and startups: If you are not sure if you can meet a client's demand, learn to decline and refer (Yes, I mean refer to a bigger competitor). The cost of earning a bad reputation for failing to meet a customer's expectations is far greater than making that sale. So choose your battles wisely.
It is important to know your customer segment. Who is your target market? Do you know their particular shopping behaviour or pain points? What can you offer to them?
If you feel that what you are currently offering is not what your market is asking, then learn to pivot. Adapt and adjust. My warning is to not meet the demands of your entire spectrum of customers, or else you will end up burning yourself out.
Also read: 4 practical hacks to improve your marketing strategy in 2021
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