What makes you different? How do I know I will get value from your services? Why should I use your services, as opposed to someone else? These are questions that I get constantly.

I am sure that in your business you get equivalent questions. This article objectively looks at the criteria you should use for choosing services like 3Rs. I would strongly advise you to use this as a template for the products and services that you sell.

All companies are set up with one key goal in mind to make money. Owners and investors put money into a company based on a business idea and plan. However, without continued and profitable sales they will fail.

It is essential that business owners realize how crucial it is to plan their sales and marketing effectiveness. This means understanding why people buy their products, who buys them, what problems purchasing those products solve, and what solving those problems enables the purchaser to do. Finally, understanding how customers will put a value on the ownership of the product, as well as understanding the cost of not buying them.

In line with this, it is also very important to know the decision-making process and also who their competitors are. This will impact the sales and marketing strategy, as well as pricing.

If you are not an experienced Sales or Marketing Manager or indeed do not have the time to do everything yourself, you should look to investing in some services to compliment your own skillset. Below are some criteria, you should consider, before deciding on someone to help you generate additional business;

1. Experience – Do they have relevant experience in my type of business. Do they have satisfied customers?

2. Understanding – Do they understand what my issues and problems are – More importantly, do they understand my target market issues?

3. Methodology – Do they follow and implement proven processes – Will they work for my business?

4. Measurement – Do they track all results – Can I see exactly what I am getting for my money?

5. Shared Risk – Do they work on a flat or fixed Fee – Or is their remuneration part based on my actual sales?

6. Credibility – Do they sound believable. Am I prepared to trust the future of my business with this firm?

7. Integrity – How honest are they with me. Are my customer contacts, plans and aspirations safe?

And finally

8. Passion – Do they have a passion to succeed in their own business, which will reflect on what they do for my Business?

Any engagement with an outside firm should be based on partnership. You need to share common values and beliefs. While all businesses should operate to make a profit, there also needs to be a guiding principle of care and customer service.

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