I think businesses make the sales process too complicated. They present their offerings. They overcome objections. They ask for the sale. They deliver.
These same businesses see themselves as one choice out of many and they often sell into that mindset with marketing and sales communication that answers the question “why choose us”.
And although that sales process and the one-choice-out-of-many mindset does exist, I think prospects and customers are actually desperate for something else…
They’re desperate to hear two things:
- Prospects and customers want to be told what to do
- Prospects and customers want to the confidence to act
This point was driven home for me recently with an equity newsletter I was writing. I’m pretty clear in my newsletter that I do not give out stock advice. I can’t legally tell people what stocks to buy or sell and I’m very strict about avoiding that situation. But I frequently get emails from people asking, “which stock should I invest in?”.
This point was further driven home by a real estate investing client of mine. He trains other investors and his students frequently ask him questions like, “should I invest in Minneapolis or Ohio?” or “should I flip houses or wholesale houses?” And as he helps guide people to the answer, he encounters another problem: His students are afraid to move forward. They’re scared of different things that could go wrong and it halts them from taking action.
People are looking to be told what to do and they’re looking for the confidence to act. Let’s look at these ideas a little closer:
THEY WANT TO BE TOLD WHAT TO DO
Prospects and customers want to be told what to do. Here are some examples from my own work, writing for business, finance, and real estate audiences:
- Entrepreneurs want to be told exactly how to start and grow their business.
- Equity investors want to be told what equities to invest in.
- Real estate investors want to be told how to invest in real estate.
Perhaps there are other things they want to be told, and maybe there are more specific things I could have mentioned, but these are the three that I see regularly.
A couple of caveats about what I’ve just written:
- This has to be done legally (for example: Unless you have a license, you probably can’t tell your customer which equity to invest in).
- This has to be done respectfully. Our customers want to be told what to do but they want to feel like they’ve done it themselves.
What are your prospects and customers desperate to hear? Chances are, the product or service they buy from you is only part of the solution. They want an answer. A way. A method. A key that unlocks what they were hoping to achieve.
THEY WANT THE CONFIDENCE TO ACT
Prospects and customers get a lot of ideas and advice and suggestions from experts (some of it is free, some of it is paid for) but they don’t always act. There might be a lot of stated reasons about why they don’t act but it really boils down to confidence that they won’t cause more harm by acting on what they know or have bought.
As business owners, we need to not only provide the right solutions to our customers but we also have to empower them to use those solutions — we need to give them the right instructions, motivate them with reminders (which also helps to eliminate buyer remorse), and show them how other buyers are using the product or service successfully.
Your customers buy from you but do they get everything they need? They’re looking to be told what to do and they’re looking for confidence to act. Don’t forget to give that to them!