After facilitating 300+ face to face consumer interviews, their primary complaint is: nearly all marketing, marketing materials and sales presentations they see and hear are all about the sales person, the product or the provider! They are annoyed and in the words of many “FED UP” with this relentless company, product and sales rep-centered approach. This constant merchandising focus by companies and sales reps on me, mine, and ours has got to change! Now some of you will say at this point, “Wow Richard tell us how you really feel.” How “I feel” doesn’t matter, all that matters is how consumers feel and whether you’re willing to make the changes needed to breakout from the rest in your field.
Consumers are the architects of the absolute shift in power that has occurred in the last 4+ years. The power sellers once had now resides solely with the consumer. Buyers have options and they control the purse strings and the decision. What they want is to use their hard earned money to solve, experience or do something! Consequently they only want to do business with organizations and sales reps that are from the first marketing message or points of contact focused on helping them achieve what they want or desire. Unfortunately, many marketing departments, ad agencies and sales representatives continue to use the me, mine, and ours approach.
For those of you who are in sales and marketing here is EXACTLY how to shift the POWER to the prospect right now and turn them into clients.
When you meet with a prospect to discuss their issues or desires for the first time you have a unique opportunity to set yourself apart by not talking about you or “your stuff” (merchandiser) but rather shifting the conversation immediately to them. What people want to do when they first meet with you (or read your messaging) is to quickly assess:
1) Is this person interested in my story or telling theirs?
2) Do they really want to know about me or do they just want me to know all about them?
3) Can this person help me get what I want or do they want to just sell me something?
That’s it. So any opening conversation (or marketing message) that doesn’t facilitate the answers to these 3 questions quickly reduces the consumers desire to purchase.
So use this approach, it is right in the sweet spot of what prospects want today. Learn it and deliver it confidently and without pause or hesitation. “I am delighted we were able to schedule a few minutes today to get to know more about each other and see if I can help you with your (financial/retirement/investment/income/protection/insurance/lending) concerns you are thinking about. Many people ask me what I do and what my clients say I do for them is (insert your value promise, here is a generic one for illustration only) I help them achieve their financial goals…….Then give them the floor and say…
“BUT BEFORE WE GET TO ALL OF THAT”
(Right there, with that phrase, you are saying: What you want is more important than what I have to say about me, mine, and ours!)
Then ask these types of questions, to build a deep “I am here for you” rapport! Be fully engaged as they tell “their story.”
“Tell me a about your family?”
“How long have you lived in the area?”
“Where did you go to school?”
“Where do you see your business /practice/career going in the future?”
Then CONTINUE to GIVE THEM THE FLOOR and ask a broad question to get deep reveals about what they want to solve, do, or experience etc.
IE: What are three things you want to accomplish during our discussion today? Or What are three things your most concerned about with your financial future (or investments, or lending, retirement, fixed income etc.)?
The answers to this “three things” question will give you a smooth transition into the discovery process you currently use to further discover their issues and concerns.
I suggest you write this down and use these words and the format exactly as written here. It will align you with what consumers want today and it WILL set you apart.
If you want to learn more about this consumer shift and how to now market and sell your products or services effectively, read my current CEO Reads best-seller The Power of Why – Breaking Out in a Competitive Marketplace
Also, connect with me on LinkedIn and for new marketing, sales and performance improvement insights I post there each week.