What Do They Really Want?
I hope this finds you doing well, and today, I want to (hopefully) give you a new way to look at the marketing you do in your business.
It’s easy to look at the commodity you sell, but I want you to think beyond that. To those of you who might be offended I’ve used the term “commodity,” the truth is, we pretty much ALL do that.
CPA’s, doctors, lawyers, mechanics, software developers, you name it – the globalization of our economy means that for any given “problem” there are a number of off-the-shelf or custom solutions available to your client. Hence my usage of the word “commodity.”
For many small business owners, though, they cannot see past this. The sales pitch they have – if they have one at all – falls back to a simple feature/benefit proposal. When they do close a sale, it’s not the result of sales skills, just being in the right place at the right time.
What if I told you there is a different way to approach your sales strategy? There are actually a lot of ways to do this, but today, I just want you to think about this one…
Think about the after your product or service creates for your ideal customer.
What is that “after?”
For the CPA, it’s the feeling of relief your client gets when you’ve taken away the stress of taxes.
For the software programmer, it’s the solution to their problems they couldn’t find.
For the mechanic? It could be safety, or reliability, or value.
And so on and so on.
The reality is, your ideal client’s after is often very personal, and until you know it and understand it, your sales pitch is going to struggle.
Now, this is really basic “Sales 101” stuff. On the other hand, I’ve seen how many business owners don’t really pay attention to this phenomenon, and even if they do, they never take the time to understand the motives of their potential clients. Even worse? They assume that anyone who wants to buy their product or service is looking for the same result.
That, too, is a mistake!
More importantly, the more time you take to become familiar with your ideal client’s needs and wants, the wider the range of results you’ll see they are looking for.
Here’s an example: Let’s say we’re selling landscaping services. Our salesman might go on and on about thick, lush, grass, flowering trees, and beautifully trimmed hedges, when in fact, all the prospect is looking for is to save themselves a few hours each weekend. To the potential customer, none of that other stuff matters, and if our salesman hasn’t taken the time to learn what “after” the prospect is looking for, he’ll talk himself right out of a sale.
Those of us who are old enough to remember might have learned this as “building rapport,” but this is actually a deeper conversation. You’re not just selling landscaping, you’re selling a lifestyle – relaxed weekends, no stress, and no need to fight with the lawnmower.
This week, I really want you to think about how you go about converting prospects to clients. Are you really taking the time to understand what they want? I’ll bet if you begin discussing the results they’re looking for, you’ll begin to close more sales.
See you soon!
Ted Smith, CPA