In professional services we’re all about selling more products and services. Hitting targets, making profit and keeping our bosses (and shareholders) happy is basically all we think about. Can it really be all about price?But what about our customers, what do they want? What makes them happy? Is such a focus on price and profit all they think about?
We’re not so sure…
Whether you’re a bank, an insurance company, a law firm or an accountancy practice, or indeed in any form of professional service, here are the main things, in order, that your customers are looking for from you:
- Someone that will fully understand their needs.
- Someone that they can build a relationship with. A relationship based on openness, honesty and trust that will hopefully lead to partnership.
- Continuity of relationship manager.
Price comes somewhere after these 3 things. The 2 worst questions a business developer can ask are:
- How much have you got to spend?
- What’s your budget?
When you ask a customer these questions they actually hear “How much can we take you for?”
The fact is that 90% of business developers hard sell and do actually ask these questions. By doing this they send the message that they’re not interested in the 3 things listed above and, as business developers, it’s us that push our customers down the price route, not the other way around. “If you’re not interested in meeting my needs or building a relationship with me, then I want the cheapest price!”
Effective selling is about delivering solutions to meet real needs. If you’re interested in doing this why on earth would you be asking them how much they have to spend?
Conversely, if we paint a picture of our customer’s needs by asking intelligent, thought-provoking questions, why wouldn’t they want to work with us?
It’s all about them! Effective selling is about fully understanding the needs of your clients and not thinking about any solution, or what it might cost, while you’re exploring those needs. Selling as if you’ve got nothing to sell.
People buy from people they know and trust.
“A single lie discovered is enough to create doubt in every truth expressed.”