There are three things in this world that don't last long:
- Dogs that chase parked cars.
- Boxers that lead with their chin.
- Salespeople and consultants that focus on "how you'll get the prospect there" instead of the destination to which you'll take them, i.e. the results you'll create.
Your chin is the weakest part of your body, at least in a boxing match.
So leading with your weakness is not only dumb, it's dangerous. If you want to win in the ring, you must protect your chin at all costs.
Yes, getting punched in the stomach hurts, but you can do sit-ups and flex your abdominal muscles to defend against most blows.
There are no workouts for your chin!
Similarly, in your own business, how you produce the results does not matter. The results are all that matter.
Yeah, yeah, some prospects will ask for an itemized breakdown of pieces and parts and hourly rates, but understand, those are probably not ideal prospects.
If they are busting your chops and telling you to jump for the mere "privilege" of giving them a quote, that's a recipe for disaster.
How you do what you do is the weakest part of your sales presentation with a prospect.
It's like the secret behind a magic trick.
Not only is it not sexy, it's probably boring, and it's also probably quite similar to what your competitors do, which means it's easy for your prospects to compare apples to apples. (When's the last time you asked a surgeon what size scalpel he would use to make the initial incision or the size of thread he'd use to patch you back up after the operation? YOU are the intangible. YOUR time, attention, and expertise are what they are paying for. Conduct yourself accordingly.)
That is why you must get the prospect talking about their goals, their business issues, their desired outcomes.
Then get them to put a cost or revenue goal on those results. In short, get them to discuss and quantify their pain.
I recently met with a business owner that has 4 sales people, multiple technicians, and other staff.
Among other things, they offer a $2,000 training course that runs for two days and typically has 5-6 attendees per class.
His goal was to conduct a class every week but he couldn't always get enough interested attendees to justify it.
If I can help him get 5 people every week or 6-7 people in every class every week that would add $100,000 to $200,000 to his bottom line every year for the rest of his life. (He has been in business 14 years so this is worth $1.4 to $2.8 million if he's in business another 14 years!!)
In light of those potential gains, me offering a 90-day consulting program for $20,000 is NOTHING.His ROI could be:
- $2,800,000/$20,000 = 14,000% or "just"
- $1,400,000/$20,000 = 7,000%
Ok, I know.
Investing $20,000 for consulting for 90 days isn't chump change, and he may not have it stuffed in the cushions of his couch, but if just one of his offerings is generating that type of revenue—I haven't even mentioned the other 20 things he does to make money—then you know paying $6 - $7k per month for three months won't put him in the poorhouse.
But I wouldn't have known this information if I had shown up and merely discussed my "methods" to help him grow sales.
When people ask me
Can you help me?"
My honest answer is always
I don't know. What's your perceived problem? Why do you think it is happening? How long has it been happening? How motivated are you to do what it takes to address it once and for all? Who besides you cares?"
Once I have those questions answered I can then address whether or not I can help them.
Until they answer those questions, you're just tooting your own horn to a person that may be tone deaf.
So tuck your chin in behind your gloves and ask better questions up front.
When done correctly your prospects will tell you what they want to buy, how they'd like to pay for it and when they can buy it from you.
Now go sell something.