Every business owner is servicing some kind of market. All products and services will compete in a market place, and that market place will vary greatly according to a number of factors.
Is it B2B (Business to Business) or B2C (Business to Consumer). Is it a FMCG (Fast moving consumer good) or a consumer durable? Is it a service base, or a combination of product AND service. Is it food, textile, clothing, vehicle, transport (the list goes on). Even Government exist in a market – and they really know how to sell!
Understanding your market is often overlooked by sales people and small business people. At least understanding the market to the degree that is required in an increasingly competitive sales landscape. Almost daily there are new players in every sales arena. New sellers. New customers. More competition. So how does your product or service stand out from the crowd at a sales level?
Let’s make a clear separation though, between marketing and sales. Marketing will (generally) get people looking at you – peeping through your windows (in the non creepy way). Sales will get them through the door.
And market understanding can be an all-encompassing, deep understanding of your playing field. Who is on the field (from all teams)? What are the rules of the game? How is the competition strategizing and posturing? What’s the end game? All this and more will determine your market.
The deeper you understand your customer, the better equipped you’ll be to address not only their wants and needs, but the pain points that have created the lead in the first place. Why are they a customer? What are the demand factors that have created their position in the market?
And your understanding of the market may (should) extend to industry knowledge. Why is a customer buying – now? What lead them to your door? Are they satisfying a need or a want? Are they buying because they have been told to, or because they want to?
Sales can be a challenge and a struggle, particularly for those people in small business who are really good at what they do…. but not so much on the sales side.
Look for help in sales. Talk to a sales coach.