Here’s are the 5 things prospects are really trying to figure out when they meet with you. This will be a good list for you to take in every sales meeting before you sit down with a prospect just to remind yourself.
The first thing clients are trying to figure out is: are you knowledgeable and are you competent?
Do you know what the heck you’re doing? Now, do any of your clients have the expertise to evaluate your knowledge? No. For example, sometimes prospects come to us and they’ll say, “well, before I buy, I want to see the campaigns.” And the answer to that is no. Because they’re not qualified to look at them and say whether or not our campaigns are good.
And that’s the truth. They have no idea. They’re going to look at those campaigns, and I know what the reaction will be, and it’s going to be the wrong one. That’s why you’re broke. That’s why you don’t make any money. That’s why you’ve never done marketing before in your life. And they’re going to evaluate how “good” the campaigns are based on how they feel. So we don’t let them see the campaigns in advance for that reason, because they’re trying to figure out: Are you knowledgeable? Are you competent?
Now, I want you to watch this ad. It’s a brilliant ad that shows that people trust for all the wrong reasons. They base their trust on their gut instincts and feelings. And they’re trying to figure out: Are you knowledgeable? Are you competent? But they’re not getting there by logic. They’re getting there because you have celebrity status and because you appear to be an authority. You’ve published a book. You do public speaking. Certain people endorse you. That’s how they’re getting to trust.
So the second thing clients are asking is, are you reliable? Can I depend on you once I write a check to you?
Are you going to disappear, or are you actually going to do the right thing for me? We’ve all had our fingers scorched. We have all had an experience where the vendor that we hire turns out to be not so great. There’s a disappointment. And so, whenever you’re making a serious decision, I’m not talking about where you go to eat tonight. I’m talking about a serious decision. Like when you’re trying to figure out your PSA tool, an RMM tool, cybersecurity tools, or anybody you’re working with. You’re always wondering if they are going to disappear once you give them your money.
Now here’s what you want to note about this. When you are selling intangibles, which you are, how are they determining how you will behave after I give you money? How are they making that determination? They are deciding based on how you act before they give you money. So, I harp on, and I’ll continue to harp on answering your phones live, making sure you’re following up quickly. Are you showing up like nobody else, or are you not answering your phone? Are you taking two to three days to follow up? Are you overlooking things? Are you sloppy and disorganized in your approach?
See, the best way to know how you will act after I give you my money is to see how you’re acting before I give you my money.
And so you’ve really got to pay attention to your sales process because that is the first interaction your customers have with you. It’s their first impression of how it’s going to be like to work with you. And most of you don’t have that scripted. You haven’t really given it much thought. You’ve not put any process to it. You just kind of show up and throw up and do whatever it is. So you want to have a very organized approach to this because this is how you build trust.
Another question your clients are asking is, are you the real deal or another deep fake?
We all know deep fakes. Nobody believes the news anymore, so people are highly skeptical. Can you be trusted to tell me the truth and not take advantage of my ignorance on the subject?
When I was a kid, my father never let my mother take the car to the auto mechanic. Never. Because my dad knew how to fix cars, he could do everything, so he would take the car to the auto mechanic because my mother didn’t know anything except for where the gas pedal and the brake were. And whatever they said, she would just have to take for truth.
And so, when you guys go in, and you’re sitting down with clients, I know a lot of you don’t feel like you are intimidating. When you got up this morning, and you looked yourself in the mirror, you didn’t think, “Wow, I’m a really intimidating person.” You might have said, “Well, I’m not the best looking guy around, but you know, I’m certainly not scary and intimidating. But see, for most CEOs, because they don’t know tech, you are very intimidating to them because it’s an area they don’t have a handle on. They can’t verify, and they must completely trust to make that decision. And that makes it a scarier decision.
So your clients are thinking, “Can you be trusted to tell me the truth and not take advantage of my ignorance on the subject?”
One of the ways that you can build trust is through admission of a flaw or something that might not be perfect.
And you’ve got to be careful about this, like admitting, “We don’t have that many techs, and it’s just me sitting at home in my underwear and fixing stuff,” is probably not the best. But, for example, on my website, I have on the Toolkit sales letter page we have a tab on there that says that 11% of the people who buy this program are very unhappy with it and end up returning it. Why is that? And it’s because it’s not going to jump off the shelf and implement itself.
And I’m very upfront about how this is not a no-work plan. If you want to get rich quick, stay up tonight. There’s plenty of infomercials. They’ll take your money, and they’ll sell you that plan. Good luck. But that’s not what we are. So, I’m very open from the beginning, and it appears to be some sort of admission of a flaw. And I guess it is. But the truth of the matter is you’re going to find out anyway. So, I’d rather tell you before you come in, you know, because you’re going to figure it out, which builds trust in the sales process.
If you guys are Chris Voss fans, my friend Chris Voss, you know, he calls this the accusation audit. It’s where you say, “Look, I got some bad news, and I know you’re not going to like it.” And then you tell the person the flaw. And by doing that, it takes the sting out of it, OK? Because by admitting a weakness, you actually build trust.
Next, your clients are asking, are you appropriate for me? Can you help me in my situation?
And this is why I keep selling on the website. You’ve got to know who your customer is, and they got to see themselves on the website. But when I’m pitching the Toolkit from the stage, and I go to the back, and people walk up to me with their order form, the conversation goes like this.
They tell me their situation. “I’m small. I’m a startup. I live in New York City. I’ve been in business for 20 years. I live in a podunk little town, Hattiesburg, Mississippi. I live overseas. ” They tell me the situation, and then the question always is, “will this work for me?” Now, what do you think I say? “Oh, hell, no. You’re a basket case. Forget it.” No, of course, I’m going to say yes, unless there really is something I can’t deliver on. Now I can’t just say yes, either.
So, the key is I have to ask some diagnostic questions.
So, I’ll say, “tell me a little bit more about your business. In 3-5 years, what are you trying to accomplish? What are you trying to achieve?” So, I got to ask some diagnostic questions, and then then I can say yes.
But clients are trying to figure out if you are appropriate for them. And this is a more significant objection than you think. Because prospects don’t typically come to you and tell you the reason they didn’t buy, they usually say, “Well, we need to think it over,” or “we decided to go in another direction.” That’s code for some other reason why they’re not buying from you. And the price is rarely going to be the deciding factor because if they genuinely decide on price because they’re broke, you didn’t want them in the first place. If they are saying that, what they are basically saying is, “I don’t trust you,” or “I don’t trust you sufficiently to pay the extra money.” That’s what that is.