Is it the right time to create an offer to drive sales?

You hate to admit it, but you thought (or at least hoped) this would be easier.

After all, you’ve ticked all of the business building boxes so far. You’ve spent time and money creating a website. You’ve had a few customers — maybe even more than a few — who’ve confirmed that you’re more than capable of delivering a great product or service. And you’re dedicating serious chunks of time to your marketing strategy.

But all of that effort just isn’t translating to the kind of sales you need to make your business profitable.

And frankly? You’re stumped.

If that sounds all too familiar and you’re seriously starting to worry you’ll have to return to the 9-5 grind, take heart.

If you’ve already proven your mettle and you know that your business is primed to enrich the lives of your prospective customers, there’s one powerful way to finally make all that effort pay off:

You need to create an irresistible offer — one that your audience can’t refuse.

Here’s how, in 8 manageable steps.

Step 1. Validate what you’re selling

All too often entrepreneurs base their offers on what they want to sell.

However, the key to creating an irresistible offer is figuring out what your customers need. (And yes, we know this sounds obvious, but you’d be surprised at just how many people skip this step.)

Which means it’s time for some audience research.

Get into the psyche of your intended customers. Talk to them directly and find out the challenges they face, the struggles they want to overcome, and the worries that race round their head at 2am.

And then ask them, if I were to create a package or a product that does X, Y, or Z, would that help you feel better? Would that solve the problem? Would that stop you waking in the early hours in a blind panic? What would make that package even more useful to you?

Use their feedback to refine your offer and you’ll be 100% confident that you’re selling something that people actually need and want.

Step 2. Stand out from the crowd

Now there’s only one problem. If you’ve hit on a product or package that people truly need, you can bet that another business owner has beaten you to it.

So step two is all about differentiating your offer so that your marketing stands out from the crowd.

Say you’re a jewellery designer. Is there something you can do that will make your pieces more desirable that the ones sold by the jeweller in the next town? Perhaps you only use ethically-sourced diamonds in your designs or you offer a free professional cleaning one year after purchase as standard?

Or if you’re a website designer, do you team up with a web copywriter to save your client the hassle of having to deal with two separate service providers for the completion of a single project?

Whatever it is that differentiates you from your competition, it pays to be very clear about it when creating and marketing your offer.

Of course, it could be that you are what make your business offer unique — this is often the case with business owners offering coaching or consulting services. If so, be sure that your personality shines through when marketing your offer, perhaps by adding a video to your sales page.

Step 3. Create an easy entry point

If you’re struggling to sell your current offers, it could be that your ‘ask’ is too big.

This could be true if you’re selling a product or service at a high ticket price to people who typically won’t have previously bought from you. Think: people selling business courses for upwards of £10k or a wedding venue charging £20k or more for hosting a champagne reception.

Can you provide your potential customers with a lower-risk entry point that will introduce them to your work, help cultivate a relationship, and convince them that you’re willing and able to deliver on your bigger promises?

Returning to the examples above, the entry point for the business courses might be a short taster module that costs a fraction of price of the big ticket offer but gives the customer an immediate win and proves that the course is going to provide value for money.

For the wedding venue, it might be an invitation to couples to come and sample a tasting menu so they can get an idea of what the food and service is really like before paying a substantial deposit for their wedding.

Once your potential customers have said ‘yes’ to you once — and enjoyed the stellar service you provide — it’ll be far easier to get them to commit to that bigger ‘yes’.


Step 4. Focus on benefits not features

Once you have clarity on the logistics of your offer, you need to be sure you’re marketing it in the right way.

This means shifting your focus from the features of your product or service to the benefits it will provide your customers. So stop concentrating on the fact your gym offers multiple different styles of class and start talking about the fact that when your clients find a specific type of exercise they love, they’ll show up consistently and get quicker, longer-lasting results that make them feel fabulous.

Another example (that we didn’t have to work too hard to find!): A feature of Clear Books online accounting software is that it can be linked to multiple bank accounts. But the benefit is that it removes the onerous task of having to reconcile your transactions and leaves you free to concentrate on more exciting things — like finding new customers or creating new products.

Step 5. Offer social proof

It doesn’t matter how good your offer sounds, humans are hard-wired to follow the herd. That means that your offer isn’t truly irresistible until you can prove that other people have tried it — and loved it!

So make the most of any social proof you can lay your hands on and bolster your marketing with testimonials, reviews, and case studies from previous customers.

Step 6. Get the pricing right

If you feel like you’ve already covered steps 1-5 and the sales figures still aren’t what you want them to be, take another look at your pricing.

Choosing the right price can feel more like an art than a science — for every person telling you that folks will be suspicious that your price point feels too low, you’ll find someone else who swears blind that you’re scaring customers away by overcharging.

Ultimately, you might have to experiment a little until you find your own pricing sweet spot, but whatever you decide, the key to making your offer seem irresistible isn’t so much down to what you charge, but how you describe the value.

Depending on what you sell, that might look like being incredibly clear on what your offer includes. For example, a writer selling content marketing packages should specify that their offer doesn’t just include the creation of a few social media posts, but also covers things like industry research, strategy, hashtag research, and metrics evaluation.

Or it might look like spelling out the true value of the offer. So, when an accountant offers a package that includes completing your annual self-assessment, they value they bring lies in the time they save you (time you can use to win a new customer or to take an evening off and spend it with your kids) and the money they save you by ensuring you’ve logged every single allowable expense.

Step 7. Reducing the risk

Supposing you’ve created the ideal product for your audience, the price point is just right, and you’ve a proven history of happy customers…but folks still aren’t hitting that ‘buy now’ button.

This is where we need to talk about risk reduction.

Spending money with a new business, particularly online, comes with inherent risks. What if I don’t like what I’ve bought? What if it doesn’t work for me? What if I’ve spent all that money and have nothing to show for it?

These concerns are common, but can be mitigated by including a guarantee in your offer.

What that will look like will depend on what you’re selling but you can try things like offering a money-back guarantee valid for the first month after purchase or, as we do with Clear Books, offering a 30-day trial to let people see for themselves how the product will fit into their business or their lives.

Step 8. Added extras

As a final incentive, lots of business owners like to sweeten their offers with bonus offers.

Again, this will depend on what you sell but if you’re launching a premium business course, you could gift the first 20 buyers a copy of your book. If you’re offering online language lessons, you could offer every student a free workbook to help them organise their study. Or if you’re selling organic veg boxes, you could include free recipe cards in each delivery.

Whatever your offer, there’s likely something you could add that wouldn’t amount to too much extra work for you, but would mean the world to your customers.

We know it’s frustrating when it feels like your business results just don’t match the effort you’ve been putting in. But the good news is, you don’t need to work harder or put in more hours — you almost certainly just need to tweak what you’re offering so that your potential clients can’t wait to click that ‘buy now’ button.

Follow these 8 steps and you’ll be well on your way to doing exactly that.

Clear Books Online Accounting Software

Clear Books is an award-winning online accounting software for small businesses. Thousands of business owners, contractors, freelancers and sole traders across the UK use our easy-to-use online accounting software to manage their business finances. All users benefit from the outstanding free telephone and email support. Clear Books was launched in London in 2008 and offers a free 30 day trial with free ongoing support and bank feeds. We’re rated as ‘Excellent’ on Trustpilot.

Get a free 30-day trial of Clear Books online accounting software here.

Posted by Clear Books