When you get right down to it, especially in a solutions/service industry, what you are selling is confidence. You have to give your prospect the confidence that what you will deliver will improve their situation.
That’s not an easy task. Not because their current situation is so ideal, but because they can’t hold and experience what you are selling before they commit. Therefore, you have to very directly address the specific issues that will build that confidence.
Client Experiences – Be able to share success stories of other clients who were in a similar situation. I’m not talking about the generic, testimonial letters (although these are important to), but rather customers who were struggling in the same manner as the prospect, and whose situation was improved because of your solution.
If they are struggling with effectively communicating to their employees, share a story of a current client who had a similar communication struggle and become very effective because of working with you.
It Takes A Team – As producers, we often think that telling the prospect, “I’m your guy/gal. Whenever you need ANYTHING, you call me, and I’ll take care of it,” will be reassuring. Guess what? Your prospect is going to be much more confident knowing that there is an entire team to take care of them rather than one individual whose job it is to apparently know everything, plus be out looking for the next new client. Introduce your team early and often.
Strategic VS. Tactical – When you are introducing your solutions (could be a wellness program, a communication strategy, an employee engagement survey, etc.) don’t stop at describing the tactical impact of the solution, go further and explain the strategic impact. It is the impact made strategically that will give them the most confidence.
Here’s an example of the difference – Tactical impact is communicated by describing the features of the solution. If introducing ID Theft Protection as a solution you would describe how it monitors the credit bureaus, has a reimbursement feature, etc.. However, the strategic impact would go on to describe what it will allow to happen. How by keeping their employees’ identity from being stolen, the company will also be protected from lost productivity due to employees spending work hours trying to regain their identity.
Plan For Success – Despite all of the obvious benefits of your solutions, the prospect will struggle with a belief that they will actually be able to enjoy the benefits. Their struggle will come from concerns (probably based on past experiences) that the solutions will actually be put into place. By delivering a detailed plan of implementation and execution explaining what will happen, when it will happen, and who will be responsible for making it happen, your prospect will have a newfound level of confidence.
Communication – Nothing will build and maintain your prospects/clients confidence than having a relationship with you built on effective communication. By telling them during the sales process how/what/when you will communicate, they will understand that they won’t be left on their own.
So, while you are ultimately selling confidence, it is actually more of a transfer of confidence. You are working to transfer the confidence in your ability to deliver a better experience to them. To state the obvious, you can’t give away what you don’t yourself possess. So, make sure you believe in your ability to deliver in each of these areas. If you don’t currently have that belief, go fix whatever needs fixing. Because if you don’t believe, the prospect never will either.
Photo by gerriet.