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How to avoid being pigeonholed

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Being pigeonholed is a common business problem. Often customers remember your business’ initial offering, but have difficulty imagining you producing new services.

It’s a salesperson’s responsibility to be aware of the full scope of a business in order to properly communicate it to clients. Sales staff must be comfortable representing the whole business message, not just their portfolio. Meanwhile account managers must keep existing clients informed of new and exciting opportunities.

While key growth is partly driven by new business opportunities, existing clients should also be carefully cultivated.

Here’s how to avoid being pigeonholed by your clients:

  • Clarify your message for everything you do
  • Keep your clients and prospects informed about your service offerings – this can be face-to-face, newsletters, project updates, etc
  • Present products and services in such a way that they make sense to your clients and the marketplace, not just to you
  • Learn your clients’ priorities. This, in turn, will give you an opportunity to discuss your broader capabilities
  • Present your offering as a system that can work as a whole or in parts
  • Always tailor your offering to meet the clients’ needs and wants

Think carefully about your clients and how they see you. Are there opportunities that aren’t currently being harnessed? Do they know you as well as you know them? If not, it’s time to share the love.

Let them help you grow your business; in turn, giving them what they need to grow theirs.

Remember, everybody lives by selling something.

Sue Barrett is a sales expert, business speaker, adviser, sales facilitator and entrepreneur and founded Barrett Consulting to provide expert sales consulting, sales training, sales coaching and assessments. Visit www.barrett.com.au

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