Last time, we talked about the new landscape… How customers across all industries are expecting more.
If you want to create lasting relationships – and stand out from the pack – you have to give customers something truly memorable… They need an experience, or a transformation.
They need to become fans.
Now, I’ll use myself as a case study for describing exactly what we’ve done… And how we learned from it.
In my own company (Predictable Profits), our clients want to get “unstuck” and scale quickly.
My team and I got together and asked:
Are our clients getting the experiences and transformations that we know are possible for them?
For many clients, the answer is unequivocally “YES!”
However, we noticed that the people who got the best results took action, attended every workshop, asked lots of questions, and hit us up for coaching (which was included with The Predictable Profits Academy).
Those people became our fans.
But what about everyone else?
Those who have yet to become our next success stories lost focus.
They didn’t complete the modules or take advantage of all the support available to them.
Here’s the thing: in order to become a fan, your buyer must achieve the ultimate result they’re after.
And because we’re committed to providing the #1 service in the world for passionate entrepreneurs who want to take their business to the next level, something had to change.
Remember, you and I are in the results business.
So, like us, you need to ask yourself:
“What more could we add to the [product/service] that could practically guarantee radical transformation and extraordinary results?”
Take the time to identify all the reasons your buyer wouldn’t achieve the results they desired, then put together a plan to ensure you eliminate any obstacle stopping them.
That’s what we did, and here’s how we changed:
We rebranded The Predictable Profits Academy to Speed to Scale.™
It was a bold move, but it better represents the benefit we’re providing our students.
Speed to Scale™ is a 10-week, no holds barred, intensive, results-driven program. As my wrestling coach used to say: “Wimps need not apply.”
Secondly, each member is assigned to a personal Speed to Scale™ Certified Business Coach.
Their coach will personally take the time to understand the unique goals of each member, hold each member accountable to hitting their mark, and work with them over 10 weeks to drive maximum revenue and sales.
Thirdly, we also added our Speed to Scale™ Copy Review. My team and I have been responsible for generating tens of millions of dollars in revenue just from the words we write on paper – so now, as our members create their own client attraction material, they can pass it to our copy team for expert review to make sure they’re benefiting from every edge possible.
In short, we evolved the program from what you’d call “mass-scaled” to “uniquely customized.”
In other words, while each member has access to all the same content that would be applicable to the masses, they also have a more customized level to tailor their experience to their own unique needs.
And when you look around you right now – from professional services to sneakers – there’s been a dramatic shift from “mass-scaled” to “uniquely customized.”
Mass-scaled has a higher probability of being commoditized and is, for all purposes, “meaningless.”
On the other hand, uniquely customized has a lot more meaning because it’s tailored more specifically to the individual needs of your buyer.
And because “mass-scaled” is designed for the average buyer – not for the specific buyer – you can’t command the same premium prices as the uniquely customized products/services. After all, when a product/service is uniquely customized, your buyers receive greater value, and as a result, willingly pay a premium price.
Here are a few examples of companies leading the market as uniquely customized providers:
Nordstrom: When you walk into the store, you’re greeted by a personal design consultant who takes the time to understand your wants/needs and makes recommendations accordingly. Then, you’re taken to the fitting room where most alterations are performed – for free.
Zappos: Pick up the phone and call a rep, and you’ll see how each sales professional is trained to “wow!” customers over the phone to make sure they get the right shoe for their needs (there’s a reason Zappos doesn’t compete on price – they compete on having the best service to create the happiest customers).
Netflix: Log into the service, and you’ll see movie recommendations customized to your past viewing and rating history, among other customized categories.
Nike: Nike By You is a line of completely customizable shoes. Choose your materials, colors, swap out the strap, and even personalize them with your name or a short message.
Cutco: Who thought personalizing a knife was a big deal? Then again, it’s much more “special” with a unique touch. Add your name or give it to a friend and add their name to the knives (I received a personalized knife as a gift, and it was a very nice touch).
Malibu Boats: Gone are the days where you pick a boat from the lot! Nearly every detail on your boat can be completely customized to the color and look of your choice.
Birthday Cake: You can buy a birthday store cake for $10.00, or have a cake uniquely designed with your child’s favorite character for upwards of $100 (a shockingly popular cake found at kids birthday parties).
Car Wash: One of my early mentors, Keith Cunningham, runs a car wash and wanted to create a unique experience – but how do you do that with a car wash? Well, because his customers had to leave their cars with the attendant for a short while during the cleaning process, Keith decided to create the unique experience in the waiting room with complimentary shoe shines and chair massages. The result? He can charge premium prices for his washes and still maintain long lines.
Financial Education: I’m working with a client in the financial education space. He sells a mass-scaled product – yet, is now offering unlimited on-demand coaching during market hours. The student (as part of their purchase) can call their offices and get coaching at any time, as long as they remain in good standing.
Snowblower Repair: I needed to get my snowblower repaired. Rather than load it into my truck and take it down to the store myself, the owner offered to pick it up and drop it off to me. He’s making my experience more unique by coming to my home, personally asking me what I’d like done, and then delivering the snowblower to show me that it’s working.
You see, while these things might seem trivial to the outsider looking in, they make the experience of doing business with you more valuable.
As Joseph Pine and James Gilmore – authors of “The Experience Economy” – have said, bridge the gap between what individual buyers settle for (in buying mass-scaled goods and services) and what each wants uniquely for themselves.
The more mass-scaled your approach – the less differentiated your offering is for each buyer – the harder it’s going to be to compete.
Granted, the above examples are in the B2C space, but you’re not limited to just B2C.
The CEO of a mid-size media buying company called me. He asked me questions to make sure he completely understood my unique needs, what was important to me, and how I was measuring my results. He did this to make sure I felt like I was important to his company, and that my needs would be uniquely met (and ideally, exceeded).
It could be extra-personal support, customized-branding services with my company logo, or even customizing the sales process.
Invenio Solutions says:
“If you can customize your selling process to these buyers in a meaningful way, you can convert more prospects into customers – and many of these will be customers with a significant reluctance to change.”
That means don’t just “sell” – take the time to understand your buyers’ unique needs, wants, and results BEFORE you try to close them.
In all these examples, notice what they all have in common:
They are not mass-serving each buyer
with an identical experience.
Whether in the product/service or the sales process, they understand each customer has unique needs, and therefore, has an experience that’s tailored to them.
From product/service experience to sales, “uniquely customized” is an essential competitive edge in this new economy. Do this right, deliver on your buyer’s ultimate result, and you’ll benefit from loyal customers, premium pricing, and their referrals.