The mistake I made when I was in practice…
In my days in practice, I was always on the look out for a tool, product or service that the practice could buy and sell on to our clients. I was driven to deliver better value to our clients without adding to the cost of delivery, so add on tools seemed like a golden opportunity.
The market for software was crowded so it was easy to find, browse and choose tools that looked great. While each purchase was driven by the good intentions of better client delivery, the good news seemed to end there. Once the product arrived, the excitement would steadily disappear, the intention to roll it out would evaporate as problems with implementation became obvious and I got busy on other projects.
For many years I couldn’t see the real problem. While I had suspicions that our choice of tools were flawed, I put their failure down to me being too busy to implement properly, the tool too complex for the team to sell or the client’s inability to grasp the true benefits of using them.
The biggest mistake about buying tools for VAS
In a nutshell, the problem was made when we bought tools as a solution for selling Value Add.
That is, we bought them thinking they would make our job of selling them easier. We thought the advertised benefits of the tool would see themselves to our clients.
The problem was that when we said, “We have this great tool and it does this…” it was easy for our clients to assume we had bought a generic tool. As a result, they couldn’t see how it could be of benefit to their industry, their market or their individual business.
When we take this approach, we’re positioning the tool as the solution, instead of our offering, our expertise and our ability to produce desirable results.
How we fixed the mistake
Basically, we stopped buying tools to sell as VA.
Instead, we created a service where the tool was used to produce the output and allowed us to position ourselves as the solution. In other words, we implemented the tool within our process in order to give them what they wanted and produce results.
In our case, we bought Optimis (MYOB), attended the training and set out to talk with clients about improving profits with this great tool. The approach just didn’t work as they could not see how it applied to them, thus creating an objection that we could not move past.
When we reinvented our approach we designed a business improvement service instead. This utilised Optimis whilst positioning our expertise and ability to highlight issues for discussion that lead to solutions and results through a design process. Clients then started buying without us really selling. I believe this was because they could immediately identify how it could benefit them and be personalised to their industry, market and business needs.
So we decided that what we needed to do was sell “what we could do for clients” (and use the tool to provide this service) rather than trying to sell the tool directly.
A question for you..
How many tools have you bought, that are still sitting on the shelf that you may have used once or twice?
What you can do next to better integrate tools to your VAS offering
- Design a service that matches your clients needs
- Find an appropriate tool that will help you deliver your Client’s desirable outcome
- Position you/your firm as the solution provider
Get help designing your business improvement services & selecting tools to improve your delivery process
The above set of steps will get you started in the right direction, and I can guarantee their results if you see the process through.
However, if you’d like help designing your services, identifying client needs, choosing tools, positioning yourself or just need someone to make sure that you actually sit down and make the time to go through the process… then you’re welcome to try an obligation free, complimentary rapid consult with me.
I’ll take you through the process to get your tools off the shelf and into action towards building your bottom line.
I’m actually drafting this as I renovate a property, so availability for these consults is limited…
Use the link below to view my diary, select a suitable time and book in.
You can prepare for your session by listing out the tools you currently have, and estimating a percentage of their current usage.
[or copy and paste this link into your browser >> http://www.timetrade.com/book/6SWV1]
Until next week, all the best making your tools more profitable.