Is Your Marketing Stuck in "Processland"
by: Judy Murdoch
Have you had this experience recently? You meet someone and all signs point to "GO" that this person needs your services.
Even better, they have a budget and they're genuinely excited about about the prospect of hiring you.
After the initial introduction and hearing a little bit about what your prospect is needing, you come to the moment in which your prospect is waiting for you to say something.
They may even invite you to talk about your business and how you help customers by saying something like "So what is it you do exactly?"
And you proceed to tell your prospect exactly what he or she seems to be asking for--how you work with clients so they get the results they're wanting.
About halfway into your explanation, you notice that although your prospectis still looking at you and listening politely, their eyes have a glassy look. They may even be sneaking glances around the room.
If you're like me, you may get an awful, panicky feeling, like, "Omigosh, I've lost them." And unfortunately, you may be right.
Because when we try to convince prospects we can help by presenting a detailed account of our process, we do, very often, lose them.
We have gotten stuck in PROCESSLAND!
Getting Stuck in Processland is a Common Problem
If you've gotten stuck in processland you have lots of company.
You see, when a prospect asks you, "what does your company do?" you want to reassure them that they can trust you. That you really can help them solvetheir problem so they get the results they want.
To reassure them you take them through how you solve their problem so they have lots of evidence that you know whatyou're doing and you're very good atdoing it.
And you're correct, your prospect is wanting reassurance just not the kind you're providing.
What Your Prospect is Really Asking For
When you are in the early stages of developing a business relationship, questions like "What is it your company does?" is customer speak for "Can youhelp me?" Or more accurately, "Can you help businesses in a situation like mine?"
Because if they're already liking and trusting you, they really want the answer to be "yes."
If the answer is yes, they can go on to the next stage to hire you. And they can start getting the help for which they've been looking.
How to Stay Out of Processland
The good news is, it's pretty easy to avoid Processland. Here's what to do instead.
Step #1: Stop Answering Prospect Questions with a Step-by-Step Process Description
No matter how tempting it may be, if meeting with a prospect, don't get into step-by-step process descriptions.
Step #2: Tell a Story Instead
The best response is short results-focused success story. Key parts of the story are:
- Who the customer was and the problem they were struggling with
- What they tried (and didn't work)
- What you saw that would actually solve the problem
- The results they got with your solution
Step #3: (Optional) Provide process information that prospects can at their convenience
you're in an industry in which technical details or methodology matter,
give them a flyer or send them a white paper that explains
your process in more detail.
You just want to avoid sharing this level of detail when your prospect
isn't yet ready.
Using a "I Help People Like You" Story
Here's an example used by a Pilates instructor:
"One of my clients came to me because she was getting married in six weeks and she was frantic because she had gained weight and her wedding dress no longer fit."She was dieting and doing aerobics but wasn't seeing results in her waistline. She said she had always felt embarrassed about her 'fat stomach'.
"I told her aerobics are great overall but they don't help you with specific 'problem spots' Pilates would help her get a smaller waistline because the exercises strengthen the muscles that hold in her stomach" As a plus she would start to see results from Pilates within a few weeks."
"In four weeks my client's waist was so well-defined that she actually needed to have her dress taken in before she got married and several people wanted to know what diet she used to look so great."
Notice the Pilates Instructor never gave details about the type of Pilates she used, she didn't talk about specific muscle groups or give the client an anatomy lesson.
But the story addresses a common situation in a way prospects find compelling and reassuring.
When a prospect asks "what do you do?" they are asking you to reassure them that you can help people in their particular situation.
Avoid answering with detailed step-by-step process descriptions. Instead answer with a short success story about a customer you helped whose situation mirrors that of the prospect.
with a success story will help to reassure your prospect that you can,
indeed, help them so they can take the next step to becoming a customer
and, getting your help
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