1. Guess what they want, and think
2. Find out what they want and think
I'm not exactly a big fan of using guess-work as a business model - So I have made it a habit to ask pointed questions of my clients after the sale. Not all of them take the time to answer the questions of course, but in the past few years I've managed to accumulate a binder full of reviews and feedback, and would like to share the most popular questions/responses with you.
I find these answers to be quite educational - I hope you do too:
A- How often were you approached by vendors offering similar services
Below you'll find the 3 most common responses in order. Remember, this is based on the average feedback of more than 60 business owners I've worked with:
1. 10 or more per week
2. At least once per day
3. Don't know/Don't pay enough attention to guess
What did I learn from this? That most businesses were getting hit up with similar/same offers a lot more often than I initially thought. In the beginning of my marketing efforts, I thought my message was unique. After learning how many offers they were getting, I modified my message, and was able to boost my conversion rate a good bit.
B- How did you react to these solicitations?
1. Ignore them
2. Tell them to stop contacting me
3. Listen for a short while then decide if it's worth my time
I found it interesting that the top response here was to completely ignore most solicitations. This is similar to what is deemed "banner blindness" online - Business owners are assault with advertising day in and day out, thus they result to filtering out a large chunk of the advertising without any consideration.
The #2 response shows how fed up most have become. The smallest percentage will give you a very short period of time (Seconds) to make your case, and show relevance before cutting you off.
C - Why did you not buy from other companies/salespersons
1. All saying the same thing/Not believable
2. Too pushy
3. Didn't say anything that caught my attention
Valuable! As can be seen from the top 3 here, most salespersons are approaching business owners with a pushy, non-relevant message. (At least it is perceived as such) I began calling on my competition at this stage to learn how they were presenting themselves so I could do the opposite!
D - What were they selling?
1. Website stuff
2. Some kind of internet marketing stuff
3. Something to do with Google
I asked this question because I wanted to know what the perception was of what was being sold. These answers told me that the typical business owner had no clue what was being offered - It was all being lumped together as "stuff." The big hint here was to focus on benefits, and stop with the technical chatter!
5 - Why did you buy from me?
1. You seemed like you knew what you were talking about
2. You kept sending good information
3. You were more clear
This final question clued me in to what I was doing right in the eyes of these very busy people. I rarely if ever made a sale on day #1 with these folks - Luckily I had a complete follow-up strategy in place that hit their in-box multiple times per month over the next 6 months or more.
But my messages were light on pushy sales talk, and heavy on content. I also went out of my way to demonstrate the benefits of what I was selling instead of just describing them.
What we sell as offliners is indeed needed by these businesses - Problem is they don't understand WHY they need it. When you can make a crystal clear presentation as to why this is critical, the task of selling becomes that much easier.