Great messaging demands reallocation not budget. Why did I spend a significant amount of unbudgeted money yesterday! Here’s why…(this same goes for your prospects)
Here’s how a dentist I didn’t know made a sale to someone who rarely spends money on unbudgeted items or services:
1. This dentist invested time in research and began educating people like my wife (someone with a keen interest in health issues) on the detrimental effects of mercury in fillings. Education is the key word here – notice I did not say, “blasted us with marketing, advertising, and spam.” He used sound bites, attraction stories, and trends to create the credibility required to move to the next step of “Buyer permission.”
2. He then offers an assessment. In his case there is a cost, however he willingly provided some complementary phone consultation to validate his educational process. The fee for assessment was low, but the deliverable very informative. Through the process of examination, photos, x-ray, and inspection he determines the condition of the original fillings, the dangers in leaving things as they are, and the side effects of mercury toxicity to show how it may be effecting the patient (in this case me). This is all done in a non-technical way, directly with the asset owner – the person with the teeth.
3. Options…clients like options vs. “take it or leave it” recommendations. This puts the buyer in control at some level, without losing control of the sale. At the end of this process I did not choose the most expensive option, however I did opt to do more than the minimum. Why? Because I felt like I was receiving honest, informative advisement. So in the end, my adviser didn’t recommend the most expensive option, he just offered it. He directed me to an affordable option that covered the most important issues.
4. Closing the deal…once I understood the options, he gained verbal commitment based on prices and services we had agreed on. An agreement was presented and I signed.
This is a near perfect example of educational marketing – the kind of marketing today’s businesses demand if they are to part with their money. Even budgeted money is not an easy sale; it still requires justification and buyer level approval before it can be spent. If you’re in sales, you are also in the educational marketing and advisory business. If you’re not, your selling days are limited. Find out more about educational marketing and what I am doing to help sales people master this at http://www.stelzl.us/sales_development_marketing.asp
© David Stelzl 2010