Building Rapport Isn’t Enough
You got the meeting, you met with the critical decision maker and you had a fabulous conversation about his kids, hobbies and his company’s needs. Yet, you still lost the deal to a competitor. The most likely reason why you lost is because you left him confused. Confusion is highly problematic because, as every politician knows, if you leave someone confused they’ll vote for the “simpler” guy….even if that guy has no idea about what he’s doing!
To avoid confusion, you must clearly prove the following during your pitch and during every interaction with the client:
- They need to act now or they’ll lose something important.
- You’re the best option.
- You, your team and your company are trustworthy.
The way to ensure that you leave each prospect convinced that your service/product etc are right for them is by answering these questions (provided by Rain Group):
- Why is it important and urgent to act?
- What will they lose if they don’t act now?
- Why are we the best choice?
- How can I substantiate #3 and show that our claims are to be substantiated?
Answering these questions will not only provide clarity and help you get the deal, but also anticipate and provide the perfect retort to these common objections:
“I don’t need your services or product.”
This objection may mean that you:
- didn’t understand the client’s problem;
- you didn’t listen or bother to understand the personal challenges of your client and global challenges of the firm;
- you focused on selling your generic service, rather than a specific solution; and/or
- you failed to show the opportunity costs of not acting now.
Now that you know what you likely did wrong, here is the simple solution: ask why and clearly respond to the reasons for the prospect’s assertion that your services aren’t needed. While you respond, be sure to repeat back her concerns and roadblocks and draw her attention to what she’s going to lose if they won’t act.
“You’ll have to come down on your fee.” or “I already know someone who’s in the industry.”
If you’re hearing this, you’ve failed to differentiate you and your company from the crowd. The solution: develop a differentiating service or process that clearly drives maximum value to the client. In other words, having a slick logo or another service that everyone else has won’t cut it. If the service isn’t 100% geared to improving the client’s interaction with your service, then cut it out. Some services may include providing services online so the client doesn’t have to move from the comfort of his home, automating requests, shortening response times and providing “free-bee” additional services that help increase the client’s bottom line.
Be sure to visually demonstrate the value of your specilized process or service by taking the client’s current situation (e.g. current sales price or revenue) and compare it to a better future that can only be granted by working with you. Graphs, charts and pictures are your best friend in avoiding confusion and clearly demonstrating your value add.
“I already know some people in the industry.” OR “It’s too much of a risk.”
If you don’t substantiate with solid evidence that you can bring the prospect excellent value and protect their interests, buyers won’t believe you’ll follow through on your claims; instead, you’ll be automatically categorized as just another salesperson and they won’t take the risk of giving you the business.
The solution: provide testimonials, referrals and case studies showing your ability to outshine and be the trustworthy resource your client needs. Trust is built over time, so don’t be discouraged if you get a “no” more than once. If you continue to put the prospect first and demonstrate clear and relevant value, you’ll eventually prove your worth.