So there I was, sitting nervously with a small overnight bag, lovingly packed by my kids, as they waved me off, staring out of the window from the passenger seat, hoping that children couldn’t smell the fear of a grown man.
It dawned on me later – while waiting in spa slippers and a dressing gown that was faaar too feminine for a chap to wear in public, covering what appeared to be a backless Laura Ashley beach dress – that our prospects share a somewhat similar experience.
Number 1 – I didn’t want too much choice
When my doctor told me that the operation was necessary he passed me a laminated piece of A4, listing about fifty hospitals and clinics.
“Where would you like the procedure to take place?” he asked.
“I don’t know! How about somewhere I won’t die on the operating table, followed by the sensation of waking up feeling better than I did before I arrived! Do you have one of those?” I replied, with a nervous smile.
“Come along now, I’m afraid I can’t make the decision for you – tell me, where would you like to go?”
He clearly had something else to do.
“But YOU are the expert; you’ve told me what’s wrong, you can’t just abandon me now!”
Offer no more than 3 options, with an emphasis on what your preferred recommendation – as the expert in the room – would be, to solve their problem.
2. External Advice
Everybody suddenly seems to become an expert or has been under the knife for exactly the same procedure.
Even people you trust the most, feel the need to either play it down or embellish it somehow.
Can someone please just tell me what is going to happen!
Testimonials – real life, independent witnesses.
A well written testimonial allows the newcomer to benefit from those who have gone before.
Why not offer a short, free, completely non-partisan document letting people know they are not alone in their pain, explaining how others have emerged from the situation and then found themselves in a much better place because of what you have to offer.
3. Pre-Buying Remorse
Even though it has been made clear that this will improve things, you start to wonder if you could just put up with the gob-smacking pain and avoid the scary change that’s about to come.
Your current discomfort isn’t that bad.
Some people would walk away from a machine that turned dust into gold if it meant too much upheaval in their life.
“Where would we put it?”
“We haven’t got the room!”
“How will we find that much dust?”
As the expert in the room;
Now is the time to be evangelistic about the solution.
4. People make all the difference
I was nervous, I was uncertain, but everyone I met was brilliant.
Wonderful, friendly nurses and anaesthetists putting me at my ease and a rather stern, knowledgeable consultant surgeon who had seen it all before.
As soon as I woke up, a friendly face offered me a drink and something to eat.
It’s always important to be able to do the 180 turn and see things from your prospect’s viewpoint.
This may happen every day in your life, but for them it’s a big, scary step.
Professional consultation, perfect delivery and wonderful after care service.
So, what was it that eventually got me to lie on a wobbly trolley and receive tubes and monitors while chatting nervously to a chubby man in a little blue hat?
Even though I didn’t fully understand what was about to happen – I trusted that those around me did.
Sell them exactly what they need (not what you want), keep your promises, hit your deadlines and ensure they know exactly how to get the most out of “it” after you’ve gone.
And look them in the eye and think to yourself, would I be advising them to do this if it was a member of MY family?
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