If your afflictions don’t get solved, so what? What won’t happen? Will they get worse? How will they affect the bottom line of your company, division, or department? How will they affect your life?
If your aspirations don’t become reality, so what? Will your competition get ahead of you if you don’t innovate? Will you lose market share if you aren’t aggressive in your strategy? Will you never be able to grow your business to a point where you can sell it and reach your personal financial goals? Will the promotion you desire continue to elude you?
Your ability to quantify the impact and paint the "so what" picture is the foundation for how important it is for the decision maker to buy from you. If you don’t answer the "so what" question, the initiative will fall to the bottom of the priority list.
Make the impact clear, and the prospect’s perception of the gap between where they are and where they want to be grows to its widest.
Here are 6 ways you can communicate impact in sales and make the case for moving forward:
- Calculate the Business Impact: Each affliction that you solve and each aspiration that you help a prospect realize will ultimately have a financial impact. Simply put, make the business case for the financial effects of engaging your products and services whenever possible.
- Communicate Emotional Impact: Increased prestige. A more enjoyable day. Faster promotions. Ability to relax on the weekend. Enjoying your sparkling personality. Peace of mind. There are many non-financial influences on the sale that can tip the scales in your favor.
- Impact Compared to the Alternative: Not only do you need to know the impact of working with you, you need to know the impact on the customer of working with alternatives to you. Perhaps your company offers better ROI, their products are inferior, or your service is better. Know the alternatives, and you can make the best case for helping the customer to succeed with you.
- What Won’t Happen? Sometimes the prospect sees the positive impact of buying from you, but doesn’t see any negative impact of not moving forward. The result can be a slow decision-making process. If this is the case, you can ask the prospect what won’t happen if they don’t move forward. By doing this, you probe for consequences of inaction, and move yourself higher up the prospect’s to-do list.
- Build Credibility with Similar Impact: They have aspirations and afflictions. You’re selling what they need to help them meet their goals. The value proposition is clear, but they are still unsure. Sometimes buyers want to know if you’ve been there before. And, when you were there, what happened.
- Demonstrate Impact Tangibly: The more you can make the impact tangible, the stronger the case for the impact will be. In essence, you need to paint a picture for them so they can see, as tangibly as you can depict it, what is going to change for them if they engage your products and services. A before and after table or graphic can make all the difference.
Show someone a way to succeed more, solve problems, and make more money...suddenly that person feels stress drop away, is excited to make a difference, and anticipates greater success and worry-free weekends. You’ll make the sale and you’ll both be happier for it.
Fail to demonstrate the impact in your sales conversations, however, and you won’t capture the prospect’s interest and desire, you won’t take him on an emotional journey, and he won’t feel that it’s important enough to put your agenda on top of his to-do list.