<< by on July 29th, 2011
Yesterday, I listened to a webinar by Ian Altman of Grow My Revenue, where he discussed how to communicate with prospects to help guide them through the professional services sale. To better understand a prospects situation you must focus on 3 main areas on “why customers buy:”
- It’s all about them
- Find a problem you can solve
- Issue, Impact, Importance
It’s all about them
“No one cares about features and benefits… They buy for their reasons, not your reasons.”
Sure, it helps to explain the benefits of choosing your company, the work you produce, and the success stories thereafter, but what prospects really want is to be HEARD. They want to feel that you genuinely understand their unique situation and if your organization has the relevant strength to help them. LISTEN!
Find a problem you can solve
“Selling is the worst kind of selling.”
If you ever feel that you are being sold to as opposed to being consulted with to solve a particular problem, run for the hills! During the initial stages of the buying process, again, it’s vital to understand what the prospect is experiencing. If you don’t understand what the prospect is going through, how do you expect to help them?
If your company is not the right fit, then back away and help them find the right solution. Digging further and further to try and convince them to use your services will only result in conflicts down the road. Do the right thing and keep their best interests in mind.
Issue, Impact, Importance
“If they can’t convince us, then we can’t convince them.”
To better help a prospect, you need them to emphasize the need for change.
- Issue: what is holding them back and the difficulties they are facing?
- Impact: what effects can they expect if the don’t solve the problem?
- Importance: How relevant is this to other things on their plate?
“Sales is the art of truth, not persuasion.”
Don’t kid yourself, if your solution does not fit their problem, then do the right thing and release them to someone who will. It does no good to try and persuade how your services can help them if that’s not ultimately what they’re looking for. Sweeping their real agenda under the rug for the intentions of closing the sale is not only unethical, but also is bad news for your agency. You want to be seen as a consultant who’s looking out for their best interest, even if it means guiding them to another solution.