As it relates to sales though, I think so many times we try to confuse it. We get into all of the different technologies of sales, or some new, revolutionary idea. But really, people are just interested in two things – they might describe it in a hundred different ways but here is what they are interested in: how much does it cost and what will it do for me?
What will it do for me? You can show somebody where a hundred other people have been interested in this product or some celebrities have been interested in this product or service. And sure, that gives some credibility to it, but unless that prospect, or unless that customer, or that client sees what’s in it for them, they not going to be interested. So you have to ask yourself when you are presenting anything, you want to be talking about, thinking about, there’s a sign across that customer’s head that says: what’s in it for me? Are you talking about what is it in for them? What are they going to get out of it? What benefits they are going to gain?
How much does it cost? This is something that is very, very important, because cost is critical. But here is where it is really important – there is a cost if you do and there is a cost if you don’t. There is a cost of making a buying decision, and there is a cost of not making a buying decision. People will make positive buying decisions when the cost of not doing it is greater than the cost of doing it.
Let’s use a simple example, like insurance. Perhaps some of you reading this have home owner’s insurance or insurance on your apartment or the goods that you own like furniture and your household goods. If you have that insurance, why would you have fire insurance? If I were to ask the question, “how many of you have had your house burn down this past year?” hopefully, very few of you would answer yes. When I ask that question at workshops and seminars around the country, very rarely somebody will raise their hand and say, “yes, my house burned to the ground.” With the odds so low, why then, would we do such a foolish, wasteful thing, as pay $500, $1,000, or thousands of dollars a year for fire insurance when we know the odds are that that is not going to happen to us?
A good year in fact, is when you have wasted every single dollar of that insurance. You don’t get to the end of the two or three years and say to your spouse, “Honey, it’s been three years and we’ve been paying $500 or a $1,000 a year…we have got to have a fire!” You don’t do that. But why would you do such a wasteful thing when a good year is wasting every penny?
I’ll tell you why. Because the potential costs, the potential loss, of not doing that is so great that that is unacceptable. We may not like that we’re paying that premium but it’s an acceptable cost. Potential loss over here is so great, that the cost of not doing it appears to us to be greater than the cost of doing it.
It happens with insurance, and it happens with a lot of different things that we buy. What’s the cost? Let’s say you sell office machines or copy machines. What is the cost of owning this machine? Well, there’s the cost of owning the machine, but what if you can show somebody that their average cost per copy would be lower, that they are going to put in less toner or whatever else it is to maintain that machine? There are ongoing costs, so the price in the end may be greater but the real cost is less. And when someone sees that the cost of doing something is less than the cost of not doing it, they will make their own decision to buy your product or service.
So, to put it in context for you, what does your product or service do? Where will that save your customer money? Where will it decrease their costs and where will it be a better value in the long run? If we’ll keep that in our mind, if we find out what the customer wants, show them how to get it, and educate them that there is a cost if they buy and there is a cost if they don’t, you will find that you’ve got a successful business with happier clients and more clients.