Many sales people and organizations are always looking for ways to differentiate themselves and impress buyers, in the process they sometimes reach further than they have to, and risk having the opposite effect to the one they intended. One method used by many is accentuating the size of or the degree to which their product can impact the buyers world.
We have all seen examples of this, “speed up you process by 22%”, “reduce cost by 30%”, “increase sales by 18%”, etc. While in most case there is no attempt to mislead, the numbers are real and can be validated, but they don’t always represent the average, or commonly repeatable outcome. It is easy to understand why they would want to put the biggest number out there; whether it is sports or other things around us, everyone always talks about the biggest baddest, not the average.
The risk is that while it is accurate, it may seem a stretch for some buyers to accept, and what we see as an impressive number, the buyer might look at sceptically, and that scepticism could cause the to consider alternatives.
The way the economy is now, the challenges faced by many companies searching for efficiencies and shrinking budgets, you don’t have to “go big” to be noticed. Imagine if your buyer is spending $2 million annually on something your products deals with. If you can show that company a savings of 5%, which may seem modest, it is still $100,000 savings, and if your product costs $80,000, well that is a pay back of less than one year, over three years it is a great ROI by any measure. So while you may have had a client that realized 14% – 15% savings, that number may seem to goo to be true from the buyer’s perspective, and if you can only get one testimonial, versus six or seven testifying about the 5% saving, and your service to boot, you are much further ahead.
A more practical approach is to articulate a couple of other things to the buyer. Sticking with the 5% savings, if you spent time understanding how the client can take that saving and redeploy it elsewhere in the process to produce more savings or efficiencies, perhaps leading to other indirect saving, reducing the overall cost of ownership, and enhancing ROI. For example, if you sell a product or line of products that can reduce the downtime of a manufacturing process by say 5%. May be not a big number, but that is 2.5 hours in a 50 hour week; that’s 2.5 hours that they are not paying staff to stand around; that is either more product rolling off the line every week, or product rolling off faster, getting to customers sooner, leading faster or more receivables or both. You can keep exploring this line, exploring it with the buyer who will no doubt see other opportunities. Can they reduce the cost of raw materials if they are buying more as result of more production?
What you will find is that buyers will not only see value in the savings, 5% is 5%, but they will see you as a valuable business provider who helped them achieve objectives directly related to your product, but also beyond. In the end you are also more likely to exceed the moderate number, where if you only match or fall short of you BIG number, it may reflect differently.
Yes it is good to boast, but it doesn’t have to be big, it has to be real and practical.
What’s in Tour Pipeline?