So What? (Issue 419)

"Thanks for the discussion. I'll send you a follow up note summarizing our conversation and next steps." Sounds like a reasonable way to end a call, yes? "So what?"

Excuse me?

“So what?” Our client’s thought every time we (sellers) suggest something. Like this:

• “I’ll send you a follow up note summarizing our next steps.” (So what?)
• “I’d like to learn more about how you manage your day to day transactions.” (So what?)
• “I’d like to come out to your office for our meeting.” (So what?)
• “I’ll send you a proposal.” (So what?)
• “I think I’ll continue to breathe.” (So what?)

The “so what” in each of these examples is, “so what’s the value for me, why should I care?” Every significant step we propose, every recommendation we make, should include an answer to that question.

• “I’ll send you a follow up note summarizing our next steps….to give us both a check list so we don’t waste time with misunderstandings.”
• “I’d like to learn more about how you manage your transactions…so I can compare your methods to our best practices and point to specific action steps you could take within two weeks to improve your efficiency.”
• “I’d like to come out to your office for our meeting… so we can have quick access to any documents or people we need, thus reducing the time we need to discuss whatever.”

Step – benefit. Step – benefit. Step-benefit.

“Wait! I don’t have any choice in this. I follow my company’s sales process. They tell me what to do.”

Yup, OK, and we can still portray the value of each step to our clients and prospects.

“Well, duh! The benefits of these steps should be obvious to our clients. Our clients will think we’re brain dead if we add a benefit after every statement.”

OK, so don’t add the benefit after EVERY statement. Pick and choose – the ones where, perhaps, the benefit might not be so obvious.

That said: If we can’t explain the benefit of each step to our prospect or customer, if we’re not creating or sustaining value for the customer with each step, we probably shouldn’t be doing the step and they (our clients) probably shouldn’t be wasting their time with us on that step.

EXERCISE FOR THE WEEK: List the steps in your sales and customer service process in one column. In a second column, list the benefits each step creates for your clients. Note gaps. Address them!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.