Calculating the Cost of Status-Quo in Your Sales Process

Updated: July 05, 2011

Most organizations are unwilling to make a change if something "appears" to be running smoothly. We all face the issue of expending tremendous resources on an opportunity only to find out they decide to do nothing. Why do you think that is? I have narrowed my thoughts down to these four reasons. Let's take a look at each.

• They don't fully understand the problem
• They don't realize the cost of the problem
• They don't realize the impact of your solution (or any solution)
• Their threshold of pain has not been reached

If a prospect doesn't understand their problem, you have your work cut out for you. This is the hardest objection to get over. I feel the only way for them to fully understand the issue is through their wallet. If you are able to capture information to calculate their annual cost of an issue, it is easier for you to get their attention. Often times we will take data from one of our other clients of similar size and present a case. Doctors have to be one of the hardest people to sell to. They don't deal with day to day activities in the office, yet they make the final decision. Too often sales professionals meet with office managers in doctor's offices and present their solutions without any due diligence. This we like to call, "show up and throw up." They assume the problem they solve exists. This is your first mistake! Never assume a company has the problem you solve. It is critical to gather information from a prospect and help them calculate the on-going cost of that problem. Doctors are the same. Whatever information you can capture, do it, and then supplement their data with data from other "customers" you have of similar size. This lends credibility to the presentation and drives a conversation that will inevitably end up with you collecting the real data from the doctor and presenting a business case they will believe and trust. This technique must used with confidence and with your customer base. The key is your customer base. Finally, it should be obvious, but the technique will work in most B2B sales situations.

The impact of your solution is not always fully understood. I am a strong believer in the idea that your prospect should participate in assessing the impact of your solution. Too often we see companies presenting home grown ROI tools that estimate millions of dollars of return over a couple of years. This is crazy! You must present your case through presentations, demonstrations, case studies, site visits, references and true value estimation and Return on Investment (ROI) analysis. Only then do you estimate the value you can deliver. And, when you are estimating that value, be sure to ask your prospect what they think. This gets buy-in and shifts ownership to the prospect.

these throughout your sales process, it will help you get into the head of the buyer.

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