During a meeting with the owner of a small software company, we talked about the slide deck his sales team uses in face-to-face meetings with prospects and he proudly stated that the most powerful slide was the one that featured the organizations his company worked with.
When I asked him why he thought this was such a great slide he told me that it demonstrated that his company had the capability to work with large organizations and that it reduced a prospect’s potential fear and hesitation about moving forward with the buying decision.
It was interesting hearing his perspective because I completely disagreed with it.
This is common myth that many business owners and sales people fall prey to. They mistakenly believe that who they work with is important to people they are selling to.
However, the reality is that your prospect simply doesn’t care. All they want to know is what you can do to help them solve a particular problem or concern; it seldom matters who you have helped deal with a similar problem in the past.
Here are a few key issues your prospects really care about.
I don’t know a business owner on the planet who doesn’t want to increase their sales and grow their business. Entrepreneurs are obsessed with growing and expanding and capturing more sales and they spend a lot of time thinking about how to achieve this goal.
If you can demonstrate—and prove—that your solution will help them achieve this goal, they will sit up and listen.
All the sales in the world don’t matter if a company is not profitable. There are plenty of examples of organizations who appeared to be highly successful only to go out of business because they couldn’t generate a profit. However, managing expenses and decreasing costs is a big challenge because most companies already run lean and tight.
Does your product or service offer solutions to help business owners reduce their costs without negatively affecting the business?
Increasing market share
Market share is a key measurement in the business world. You can’t grow a business by remaining stagnant and this means expanding your market. Even companies who sell to the same set of established accounts look for ways to sell more to those customers.
What can you do to help your prospects increase their market share?
Beating the competition
The legendary football coach, Vince Lombardi, was quoted as saying, “There is no room for second place.” Many entrepreneurs are competitive people by nature and they often obsess about finding ways to beat the competition.
Although Bill Gates and Steve Jobs were friends, they were also fierce rivals and they constantly sought ways to outperform each other in their respective companies.
Can you tap into this drive and demonstrate how your solution will help a prospect outperform one—or all—of their competitors?
Increasing customer retention
Savvy business people know that keeping customers makes good business sense. After all, the cost of retaining a customer is usually much less than the cost of acquiring a new one. However, this is a challenging goal especially when the majority of companies run lean and everyone in the organization is expected to accomplish more with fewer resources.
Is there a way you can help your prospects achieve this goal?
These are just five things that are important to your prospects; depending on the industry you sell in, there could be others.
The most effective way to make a sale is to focus on what is important to your prospect, not what you think is important.