Every clients dirty little secret
By Jim Thompson
Yes, your clients all have a secret – they would rather not have to buy what you are selling.
In an ideal world, they would prefer it if they didn’t need you.
All things being equal they would prefer that the problem they needed you for didn’t exist or they could resolve it on their own.
Fortunately for us, those problems do exist and even more fortunate most clients don’t have the time or the skills to resolve them themselves.
So as sellers, myself included, we are all in one way or another a necessary evil.
Sobering news I know but it helps us to explain and understand the world we live in and think more deeply about what and how we actually sell.
The natural inclination is to sell what we think the client has self-diagnosed they need, so we match our offering to their diagnosis.
But deep down, despite what we like to think, they really don’t want it – or at least have to spend money on it. What they are buying from you is a means to an end, some sort of outcome, a desired future state.
If that’s the case, then why do we sell them the means to the end and not the end itself?
And on top of that, why do we try and convince them that our means are a better, more efficient, smoother transition to the same end result?
What if they have misdiagnosed the best way to achieve their desired future state?
Would you tell them or happily take their money knowing that perhaps there was a better way?
And what if they don’t even know what their desired future state could look like?
People don’t know what they don’t know.
Are we not better off selling the desired future state as opposed to the means to get there when they really don’t want to buy the means?
What are your clients really buying and what are you selling, the means or the end?
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