Over the weekend, I listened to a podcast by sales guru Zig Ziglar wherein he discussed some tactics on helping potential customers reach a purchasing decision with you. One thing that stuck out to me, however, was his conversation around Goals. He suggested that at times people would prefer to tell us what they think we would want to hear, rather than their actual goals. As business leaders, we need to make sure that we aren’t getting sucked down that proverbial “bunny hole.” Having an inaccurate understanding of what a prospect’s goal or goals are will cause us to inaccurately diagnose potential solutions for their problems.
One way he suggested getting around this is asking the simple question, “why is that important to you.”
For example, if someone said, “Well, I want to earn a million dollars by the end of next year.” Asking why is that important will start to reveal the underlying goals for that, whether that is so that they can purchase a home, car, have vacations and not have to worry about it or for retirement planning. We get a bit more clarity on what their actual goals are. See how they are very different? Money is a vehicle to purchase things, but there are other ways, such as trade, finding discounts, etc, to accomplish the very same goals.
On the other end of the spectrum is the benefits we offer our clients. If you owned a bookkeeping firm, you might say that you offer bookkeeping services to women-owned business professionals in restaurants, spas and salons. The question is: what unique benefits do you offer your clients? Well, the bottom line answer comes as a result of the same line of questioning: “Why is that important?”
Getting to the root of the situation is not always as quick and easy as one would like, regardless of being the buyer or the seller, regardless of the industry. Until you get in the habit of drilling down to the core of the issue, you risk misdiagnosing your clients and potentially missing sales opportunities.
Aepiphanni Business Consulting: The Business Strategy People is an Operations Management and Business Strategy Consulting Firm dedicated to serving the needs of small to medium sized business leaders. We specialize in helping leaders create extraordinary businesses.
We welcome clients in the personal and professional services industries, including Creative and Design Services, Software & IT Services, Professional Services and Specialty Consumer Services. As always, we welcome your comments, thoughts, questions and suggestions.
If you are seeking a business assessment, or have further questions about creating your strategy or developing your vision, please give me, Rick Meekins, a call at 678-265-3908, or email us at [email protected].