What I Wish They Would Invent
by Brad Ellison
You know what I wish they’d invent? I wish they’d invent a “Projection Projector” that would allow you to look into the future, at any point in time, to see how things would turn out. You’d be able to save yourself the torment of waiting to hear about that job you interviewed for. You’d be able to see if your kids ended up going to the college you were hoping they would or see your grand-kids (and THEIR grand-kids) 50 years in the future. Heck, you’d be able to see what next week’s winning lottery numbers will be! There’s no limit to what you could learn.
I’ll tell you what I would use it for - I’d sit all of my company’s prospects down, flip on the projector and give them a view of 1…2…3 years in the future. I would want them to see how productive and profitable they would be with our help. I would want them to see the leads pouring in, the sales closing and their offices over-flowing with all of the extra cash their business has. I would show a clip of them swimming through their own personal vault filled with coins and jewels,Scrooge McDuck-style, enjoying the high life.
Wouldn’t that be great? You would be able to close every single deal simply by SHOWING them what the results would be. No guesswork, no waiting, JUST results. Who could say no?
The sad reality, of course, is that they can’t see the results ahead of time. It doesn’t matter that YOU know that you will help their business…THEY need to know it. So without this magical “future-projector,” what do we do with our prospects to help them see into the future?
Build a relationship
We’ve all heard it a million times. Customers aren’t buying your product or service, they are buying you. Telling your prospect over and over and over how great you are or how wonderful your product is will never resonate. In fact, this message, ad nauseum, will likely turn your prospect AWAY from you. Invest some time. Get to know them and their company. Maintain contact and follow through on things you have promised. The relationship will sell your company for you.
If you are truly so fantastic at what you do, surely you have others that will attest to it. Ask your customers to provide a testimonial about your service. Include these endorsements on your handouts, your website and your email distributions. Let others be your cheerleaders and your credibility will shine through.
Look the part
Suppose you are interviewing financial planners to handle your personal finances. You schedule meetings with two advisors with offices close to your home. Their credentials are comparable, their experience in the industry is similar…but one shows up wearing a suit and tie and the other comes to your meeting in jean shorts and a tank top. Which are you more likely to end up hiring? If you’re in the professional services industry, look professional. If you own a manufacturing company, keep your plant floor clean and clutter free. You may be the most qualified, skilled financial planner in all the world, but your flip-flops and unkempt hair will be saying something else. Remember, perception is reality.
Your customers and prospects can’t see in the future to see that your product is exactly what they need. And they can’t see with absolute certainty that you will do exactly as you say you will do. BUT, with a little bit of effort and strategic planning, you can give yourself the best shot to land that next deal.
P.S. I lied. If I had that future-seeing projector, I would probably skip the part about sitting my customers down and instead just go buy that lottery ticket.
RESPOND: What magical invention do you wish would be invented? Would you use it for good or for evil? :-)
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