No matter whether you provide professional services, are a tradesperson or manufacturer of fridges, you have to answer one question.
“Why would I buy from you over your competition?”
The short answer is I wouldn’t know unless you tell me.
A client of ours has been asked to bid for a large, extremely complex fire protection job on an iconic Sydney structure.
There are two major issues with providing fire protection. It’s expensive and most of the work you do is under the surface, meaning clients can’t see what goes into it and therefore often can’t perceive value. All they see is a big bill.
But like most things in life, you get what you pay for.
I told them what I tell every client.
Your prospects often don’t understand why you’re expensive.
You need to explain your value. Why you’re different. And more importantly, how the value you provide is greater than the cost I pay.
One of the best ways to highlight value and differentiate yourself is to tell me in intricate detail what goes into your solution.
Tell me about your education and experience and why this is relevant in solving my problem.
Tell me about the materials you use. The processes. The quality control. Your guarantees.
Use case studies and testimonials from satisfied clients to provide proof you can deliver.
Frankly, this applies no matter what you provide, be it a service or manufactured item. Your prospects won’t know what goes into what you provide so often can’t perceive the real value.
Now here’s the trap.
You know your product or service backwards. You do this stuff day in and day out. To you it’s obvious. So you believe it should be obvious to your prospect. BIG MISTAKE!
Another client lost a multi-million dollar job because they didn’t take our advice to heart. They’d bid for a job with a previous client. The selection panel had people who had worked with our client before.
They thought they were home free.
But they lost!
Why? Because the bean counter on the panel did not know them. And did not feel comfortable with the level of detail provided and could not see the value for the price quoted.
So he vetoed the bid.
Remember, in sales while there’s usually only one person who can say “yes”, there can be multiple people who can say “no” if they don’t understand what they’re getting.
So this is what I told our fire protection client to do.
Make sure you put in as much detail about materials used, processes you’ll undertake and your experience with other complex jobs.
Give lots of examples. Pretty pictures help.
We’re dealing with engineers and bureaucrats so the more detail the better.
And understand that in any large organisation people are looking to cover their backs. Make yourself the obvious choice so they feel they’ve got personal insurance. So if anything goes wrong, they can say, they got the best people in and here’s the proof.
Frankly, the same holds true no matter what industry you’re dealing with.
And finally, I coached them to ask two crucial questions.
“Once this job has been completed how will you know it was done right and how will you know you got value for money?”
The answers are the client’s evidence criteria i.e. what they’re really looking for. This is what you work to and play back to them in any proposal you present, demonstrating you really understand what they want.
And once the job’s done, you play it back again. This reinforces in their mind that they made the right choice selecting you. And of course, immediately ask for a referral. Nothing quite like striking while the iron’s hot.
Do this and the selling process is simple. But don’t confuse this with it being easy.
There are lots of nuances which we help our clients navigate.
Clients who have taken our methodologies and mindset to heart have doubled and even tripled the size of their businesses within a couple of years. Will you join them?
Call us on 0414-913334 for a confidential discussion on how we could help you improve your business’s cash-flow and profitability.
Rashid & Barbara.
P.S. Our client got invited to tender because the prospect saw an ad we’d written which directed him to the new website. If you’d like similar results with your marketing, call us.