The Last Thing People Want Are Consultants, Coaches And Or Service Providers (even though the industry would like to think otherwise).
So why do people hire them?
If you’re thinking, “Because they want or need the help,” you’re only partially correct.
People hire help and guidance for specific reasons. And if you are selling something, you will always have other active players in your market trying to shine brighter. This often leads to feelings of challenge amongst the industry. And that’s why finding better ways to position and justify a price (value) for your Thing may at times feel challenging, and sometimes even salesy.
One of the key things to increasing the perceived value of your Thing
…is the moment that you give up feeling that your Thing is worth anything at all. Instead, realise that it’s really in “The Outcome” that Your THING provides. That’s what people desire and value the most.
In other words, The Outcome for the “prospect and or client” is about addressing whatever problem(s) they have. The obvious problems that we see people experience usually sit on the Surface. There are Auxiliary problems there too. And, those typically require digging deeper to get to.
For example in the 20+ years I’ve been in business, helping others in business, I’ve always STARTED by investigating my client’s problems first. Most of them are easy to spot because I’ve personally been down similar roads many times myself from building multiple big businesses. A few of the recurring problems are like dwindling cash flow, slim profits, unwarranted red tape, ineffective systems, or being too busy to draw in IDEAL CLIENTS.
What’s interesting is a lot of businesses spend valuable time chasing people down, managing problematic leads and or clients they don’t like. And they struggle to keep up; you know too much manual work, too much of the wrong activity and information, too distracted serving the wrong clients etc.
And at a higher level the vast majority are not strategic, and in the instances of the few that are, most of those ones have conflicting tactics.
Now at this point what I can tell you is this; in all those conversations…
Most people don’t realise how even little problems have a way of building momentum and getting totally out of control fast.
So as I’m talking about their business problems we dive into-
- how these things might be impacting other areas in their business; and
- we explore what else might be affected in their personal life.
We connect how those Surface level problems they’re experiencing are affecting other important areas of their lives (Auxiliary problems). It’s like a spider’s web where one stressed strand is pulling on the others.
E.g. “Well, how’s the lack of cash flow affecting your relationship with your partner, your kids? …and the time you spend with your kids? How’s this problem affecting your sleep? …your stress, your health? etc”.
Truth be said, I’ve had my share of Auxiliary problems – from a relationship breakdown, to a couple of the creditors panicking to bankrupt me during my divorce proceedings, to my ex autonomously preventing me from seeing our kids, to a serious accident that could have killed me, you know extreme problems that I foolishly thought might ease over time, until I turned into an emotional wreck and just didn’t want to go on.
So like others out there I’ve had some challenging problems but I managed to work through them. And, I know firsthand how specific problems in business and or ones personal life can quickly impact other areas negatively.
Here’s ONE of the main upsides to using this in your business – surface level problems, and exploring them deeper with your prospects and clients can really help you to sell your Thing with absolute ease to anyone.
Let’s look at how some other businesses leverage this approach for selling products.
A Harvard professor and author, Clayton Christensen, was hired by McDonalds to do some product research. “McDonald’s wanted people to buy more milkshakes,” Christensen said. He discovered, “The majority of milkshakes were bought by a lone male, early in the morning, and the customers would always drive away with them.” Why are these customers buying milkshakes? For some of us, our first reaction is the milkshake is a nice breakfast boost to start the day; basically to relieve hunger.
From speaking to those customers he found that in every case, it turned out, this type of customer had a long boring drive ahead. The milkshake’s purpose was to relieve their hunger (Surface problem) and ALSO to relieve the boredom from the exhausting drive ahead (Auxiliary problem).
So the milkshake was the ideal relief to those problems.
These Surface / Auxiliary problems apply to ALL products and services
Back to the example I talk about above; ask the kind of questions to get a clear picture of where they are at right now versus where they would like to be. Now I’m not claiming to have all the solutions, but identifying and realising the gaps helps determine the prescription I can or cannot provide for the treatment.
Depending on your area of expertise there might be unpleasant emotional problems looming. And, even though there may be no joy in talking about those problems, before you can help anyone with your Thing, people must first feel and see you’ve helped them identify the Reality of what was unexplored in their situation.
The greater the problem is recognised, the greater the need for a solution.
If someone is experiencing little problems, they’re most likely bearable, so they live with them. Whatever you think you can do to help them is not necessary in the movie playing in their mind. They are flat out managing their little problems. They are allowing their circumstances to dictate their lives. So they are not in search of any solution YET.
They aren’t looking directly at their problems seeking the solution(s). They aren’t looking at them through the filter of doing something, like getting guidance from a consultant, coach or whatever else, to turn their problematic situation(s) around.
And from experience I can tell you the vast majority definitely aren’t interested in reading or hearing about the cool benefits of your Thing in the first place.
So as a professional help people explore their problems deeper
…and then guide them to see the “total impact” of staying where they are.
And just when they feel enough is enough. That’s when you just offer your Thing as the solution.
Show. Me. The. Money.
Yes or yes? Well, at this point, if you’ve helped them see the total impact of staying where they are is significant enough, then, they will immediately recognise the huge value of what you have to offer them.
You don’t need to be slick or make some kind of polished sales pitch. That’s it.
And this goes without saying – Always Deliver Your Absolute Best Work To Them. Unlike those sleazy snake-oil individuals who are willing to push any garbage onto them.
Based on how you frame your conversation, they will be able to picture how your Thing will help them, whether it’s; increased cash flow and or profits, higher prices, getting more of the right clients, greater performance, recovering from emotional trauma, less stress, losing weight, financial freedom, happier marriage, increased performance in a sport, building wealth etc.
The outcome is a big deal to them.
So go ahead, help them get clarity to see the total impact of the problem(s) affecting them and where they want to go. If you really care, then it’s the right thing to do. You owe it to them and to yourself. So guide them. Go wide. Go deep. Do this consistently, over and over.
Then tell them about your Thing.
Every potential client wants your absolute best solution
…if you sell it the right way!
Here’s to blue skies ahead,