sales guru Zig Ziglar once said that the most popular radio station in the world is WII
FM, which stands for "what’s in it for me?"
As sales professionals,
the single biggest change we can make in our behavior to improve our success is to simply get
over ourselves and start focusing on our customers and prospects.
I never cease
to be amazed at how many sales people focus on themselves rather than on what their customer
actually wants to buy. The fact of the matter is, our customers aren’t interested
in what we have to say unless they feel it is in their best interests. We can’t
be persuasive if our focus is on us.
reframe your approach so that your customers’ interests are always at the forefront,
start by asking yourself three key questions:
- Who cares? In
other words – whom are you selling to? Be as specific as possible. Are you selling
to Marketing VPs in the textile industry, or Chief Technology Officers in the aerospace
- Why us? The
answer to this question defines your product, whether it’s a tradeshow booth, retirement-planning
system, clothing line or human resource staffing service.
- So what? This
is where you answer your client’s all-important question, "what’s in
it for me?"
your answers to these questions together and you’ll get a statement that sounds
something like this:
mentioned that you’re working with a very restricted budget. The VPs of Marketing
at banks across Canada and the U.S. are buying our tradeshow equipment because it can
cut their labor and shipping costs by up to 40 percent while still maintaining durability.
Knowing that, does it make sense to look at our product line?"
it to the mountain
you need to make sure you’re presenting the features of your product or service
that directly address your customers’ best interests. How? The answer to this lies
with the seven most important letters you may ever come across in your career: "MT.
There are seven
core motivators that drive all human behavior. "MT. SAMIE" is a simple acronym
designed to help you remember those motivators whenever you’re dealing with new
or existing clients. Here’s how it works:
= Money: As Zig Ziglar once said, "Money
isn’t everything, but it ranks right up there with oxygen."
= Time: Despite all of our so-called
labor-saving devices, it’s staggering how many people are still utterly time
impoverished. E-mail, anyone?
= Security: People have a natural
tendency to avoid risk in favor of security, whether it’s risk in buying a product
or the security that comes from having a "safe" job.
= Achievement: All of us enjoy producing
results. If your solution will help a prospect accomplish something or achieve their
sales targets, then you will be much more likely to grab their attention.
= Making a difference: Look at what’s
happening all over the world today. People will often help out if they feel like what
they are being asked to do will really make a difference.
= Image and reputation: Whether we
admit it or not, we’re all concerned with what other people think about us. In
fact, it is the power of image and reputation that leads so many of us to have a hard
time saying "no." If your solution affects someone’s image or reputation,
then believe me – you’ll get their attention.
= Enjoyment: People go to great lengths
to increase enjoyment in their lives. If you’re not enjoying the situation you’re
in with a customer or colleague, odds are, they’re not too thrilled about it
either. Discovering and communicating "what’s in it for them" can
go a long way towards making the experience less stressful and more enjoyable – and
help you make a great impression.
Sure, this advice
isn’t exactly rocket science. In my experience, however, common sense doesn’t
always translate into common practice.
Just ask yourself:
when was the last time a customer asked you for information, and instead of letting them
buy what they really wanted, you proceeded to try to sell them on what you thought
the best product features were?
in doubt, go back to MT. SAMIE, and ask yourself if your solution is truly addressing
one of your prospect’s core motivators. Or to keep things even simpler, just remember
the words of the immortal Yogi Berra: "The fastest way to get what you want is
first to help others get what they want."