Written by Sean McPheat |
I’ve been speaking to more of my clients recently.
Not that that should surprise you, but I’ve taken some time out to find out some of the key issues they are facing and identified many of the specific ideologies that drive them to make decisions.
In some cases it’s been eye-opening, and has allowed us to tweak our offerings and practices so we are in line with their requirements.
I recently read something from Jill Konrath, an American who helps salespeople to sell more.
Here’s a quote from one of her books:
“I had lunch with the president of a half-billion dollar division of a major corporation. She told me that if someone contacted her and said she could reduce waste in her company by just 1%, she would meet with them immediately.
Because she knows exactly how much her company spends on waste, and it was a lot of money.
Every penny she saves goes right to the bottom line.”
That’s an interesting viewpoint, and it should help us to analyse what our products actually do for the customer.
You see, no-one is interested in your features and benefits.
If you roll out a long list of what your product does, it’s hard work for the prospect to make the link between what you’re saying and their long-term objectives.
Any proposition you put forward should emphasise what the value is of using you and your services.
So, one thing that should be on your to-do list is “call my best clients and ask them two things: Why did they buy from me and what results are they getting?”
Now, this can be done on a routine call or you can plan a special call for this information.
The truth is, if you don’t get this information, how can you prove what you say to prospects is actually true?
How can they trust you when you make your claims?
The questions will sound something like this:
“What were some of the main reasons you bought from us initially?”
“Which competitors did you survey?”
“What was better about about our products than theirs?”
“What specific results have you got from using our products?”
“How much money have you saved, or made, from using us?”
You’ll see that these questions are very specific, the answers to which will help you develop your value proposition for new clients.
For example, which of the two following statements would make the bigger impression on a prospect?
“Our new widget has 32 less moving parts than our main competitor, so there is less to go wrong and maintain, thus giving you more peace of mind and less risk”
“Joe Smith at ABC has been using our new widget for six months now, and he tells me he has saved about 15% in down time and produced more than 20% more items than he was with his previous machine. He estimates he has saved over £xxx in Th. last six months”.
Both statements make the same claims (that the widget is better than the competition), but the second one is more appealing to the customer, because they don’t have to do the hard work thinking through what the repercussions of the claims are.
They would be able to identify with the second statement more, as this tells them the results they will achieve with the product.
See if you can check the results your clients are getting with your products.
They will tell you what’s most important to them and give you testimonials to take to other prospects too.
Originally published: 16 August, 2016