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June 18, 2014

Great business quotes #3 – on ‘what’s in it for me?’

ppt 1See if this describes your capabilities presentation… Slides 1 and 2 are a history of the firm. Slides 3, 4 and 5 are the bios of senior staff members. And slides 6 through 15 are all the “great” things you do.

Want to know a little secret? The sales prospects sitting around the table DON’T CARE! Well, they do… but they don’t. They’ve been to your website… they’ve asked around… they already know all of that. What they’re sitting there asking themselves is, “What’s in it for me?”

In this series on great business quotes, our third one is…

Sales prospects don’t care about what you can do… they care about what you can do FOR THEM.

Question: What is the #1 thing people like to talk about?

Answer: Themselves!

It’s human nature… and it also applies to us (unfortunately) when we’re talking about our companies – who we are… what we do… the great people on staff… and so on. Yeah, it’s important (sort of) but what sales prospects really want to now is how they can benefit from what you do… which of their problems you can help solve… how you can make them look good to their boss… and why they should replace their current supplier with you!

To do that, you have to start looking at what you do through their eyes. If you’re a research firm selling your services to the Fortune 5000… understand that your clients don’t have research problems… they have business problems (that research can help solve). They don’t have a focus group problem, or a customer sat problem or a webcam interviewing problem. They have issues like making sure their ads work, which new products to launch and who their best target market is.

Let me give you an example from outside of research. Imagine for a second that you sell life insurance. Your sales pitch could be, “Mrs. Jones, would you like to buy some life insurance? It’s a $100,000 term policy with a low monthly premium.” Just facts… not very compelling. Try this one instead, “Mrs. Jones… what would happen to your family – financially – if you passed away tomorrow?”

See the difference. That kind of focused questioning forces her to look at the insurance products from a completely different perspective – Mrs. Jones doesn’t have an insurance problem… but she does have the need to take care of her family. And smart insurance salesmen will talk to her in those terms.

The same rule applies in market research.

So… stop talking about features and start focusing on benefits. Stop pitching your methodologies and tell your story around applications (i.e. their business needs). Stop focusing on the process and start showing the results. Bottom line… stop talking about what you can do – and start showing what you can do for them.

When you can help your prospects answer the question, ‘What’s in it for me?’, you’ll not only get their attention… you’ll also get their business.

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