What stage are your prospects?
In it’s simplest form there are four stages of developing and gaining a customer. At the first stage they may ave an inclination that they LIKE your product /service. Following on from this stage the prospect has to WANT your product or service. So whilst I might like something that’s irrelevant if I don’t actually want it.
The next stage of the process is NEED and this is getting us towards the point of purchase, so not only do I want it II actually need it whether this is to satisfy a functional or an emotional requirement. Finally we have the MUST HAVE stage where I want this specific product / service.
The Utopian position is to create a proposition that has a MUST HAVE characteristic.
So think about your proposition and is there anything you can do to it to acquire this “Must Have” status
For an alternative approach to sales could CEO thinking help
Assuming there are 3 stages the challenge is getting the customer to move through the stages
Stage 1: Why This – I may need a product or service to solve a problem but there are probably direct competitors, indirect competitors and future competitors that provide a solution / alternative to the customer
Stage 2: Why You – so what is it that makes You different from the others – now this can be a challenge in its own right. Remember being seen as the cheapest potentially isn’t typically a long term point of differentiation
Stage 3: Why Now – and this is often the part of the sales process that is the difficult to impact especially on higher value products or strategic projects. I might know that i need a service, have identified that when I purchase I will purchase from you but at the moment don’t actually need to make a decision (even though not making a decision could potentially be costing money)
Whats your CEO
In one sentence or a few words what is it that you are going to provide your customer. What are you offering your customers that makes it a no brainer to purchase from you
Whats your evidence or proof that it works. This can be provided through a variety of mechanisms, examples include
- Letting the customer test the product / service before they pay
- Video testimonial – whereby a customer describes / explains how good you were
- Endorsement from a trusted authority – perhaps a named known person, tv channel or magazine
- 100% money back guarantee
The hardest part of the process as this is all about identifying what is your irresistible or mafia offer. Now this isnt whats the promotion or special offer this is “the proposition you are providing. how it adds value or is better / different than others and why you should buy it now”