Read time: 3-5 minutes
We just recently had a client come on board who chose to work with us because of a simple question I asked. Based on the work we’ll do with them, it will add up to about $50k in the next 12 months.
So, literally, this was the $50,000 question!
But before I reveal what the question was, let me run a funny scenario by you:
Imagine you’re out dancing.
You’re having a great time doing the Foxtrot, the Boogaloo and the Mashed Potato (kids under 30, go ask your mom what the Mashed Potato is — LOL). As you’re dancing, you try one of your signature moves from high school, but it doesn’t go according to plan and you feel a little pinch in your back.
You manage to make it home and into your bed with a slight backache. However, during the night, the pain gets worse. You know you’ll have to go to the doctor. By the next morning, you make it out of bed, wobble into the car and finally make it to the doctor’s office to get help with your pain.
At the doctor’s office, you sign in, fill out the paperwork and have seat. The nurse opens the door of the waiting room and calls your name to come back. After the nurse weighs you and checks a few of your vitals, she ushers you into an exam room to wait for the doctor.
Typical medical office visit, right? (Except if you live in Canada)
After a few minutes (45 minutes), the doctor enters the room.
Just as you are about to explain your situation to him, he blurts out, “I’ve got three drugs for you to choose from:
- Drug #1, Mediocerol, is $500, and it might make you feel okay …
- Drug #2, Feelgoodonex, is $1,500 and it will make you feel even better …
- And drug #3 Fantasinephren is $2,500 … it’s the best one we have and it’ll make you feel fantastic.”
(note: These drug names are completely fictional and any resemblance to any other drugs is purely accidental…..hopefully these aren’t real drugs and I end up getting sued by the pharmaceuticals)
Anyway, back to my story….
So, how would you respond?
If you’re like most, you’re thinking, “This guy doesn’t even know what’s wrong with me and he’s trying to shove some drugs down my throat?! What the…?!”
This is the exact same thing that happens when sales professionals walk into a meeting with a new prospect and attempts to shove his “packages – plans – products” down his client’s throat.
In essence, he’s trying to prescribe a solution when he doesn’t really even understand the problem.
Back to my new client and the $50,000 question:
The guy I met with was obviously already very successful, but has some issues he wanted to address.
When I sat down to talk with him, the very first words out of his mouth were, “So, tell me – whaddaya got?”
My response? (Pay attention! This is the $50,000 question!)
“What are you trying to accomplish in your business?”
He sat up in his chair, leaned forward with his hands clasped … and with an inquisitive look said, “Go on…”
I went on to say, “I can’t possibly tell you what I’ve got without knowing what you need. I’m here to find out what your goals and…and then determine if my services can help you accomplish those goals.”
He stared at me for an uncomfortable few seconds. He smiled. Then he extended his hand and said,
I chuckled and said, “You don’t even know what we do…how much we charge, etc!”
He responded by saying, “It doesn’t matter. I know you’re the man for the job.”
He continued by explaining, “I’ve had seven or eight of those SEO, Social Facebooky guys sit here and spew at me about all the gizmos, algorithms and whiz-bangs they have. They all confused the hell out of me.
You’re the only guy who asked me what I want! The funny thing is, I don’t even know what the hell I want, but I know you’ll be able to give me what I need.”
After asking him a few more questions and digging deeper into his business to find out what he really needed, we put together a plan that will be worth close to $50,000 in business for – for just this year alone.
Like my new client, most people don’t know what they need, or how to verbalize what they’re are looking for. They know they have a problem, but they don’t know the solution (of course they don’t…because if they did, they wouldn’t need you).
Like a (good) doctor, your job is to “diagnose” the real issues first, and “prescribe the right medicine” based on their expressed needs.
Let them talk!
Most business owners never get the opportunity to talk about ‘what’s really going on’. They can’t talk to employees about problems…they aren’t going to talk to their spouses about problems… you may very well be the only person who they can confide in to express their frustrations.
Here’s an added benefit: they’ll end up telling you exactly how to sell to them if you listen closely. 😉
Take Away/Action Item
As simple as it sounds: ask questions.
Be a consultant, not a salesman
A consultant first finds out what the client needs, then provides the best solution for them…EVEN if it’s not theirs.
Whether you sell a product or service, sell based on your clients’ needs – not yours. Don’t go in to any sales meeting and immediately make your pitch to sell them something they may or may not need.
Side note: if your job requires you to hit quotas for a particular product or service and you’re told to sell them “by any means necessary” – find a new job.
Antonio Thornton is a kick-ass dad, author, speaker and business strategist with Money Mouth Marketing, a results-based marketing firm. Money Mouth Marketing is the only firm in Georgia who guarantees a minimum 3x ROI for it’s clients (Yes, we’ve checked). To grow your busines, grab this free report on the 3 things you can do right now to generate immediate income: www.moneymouthmarketing.com/3x