As corporate coaches or trainers, we have all been there before, we meet a potential client, they express an interest in our services and we arrange a meeting.
It’s the day of the meeting, we put together our package, we are pressed and polished and we head out to our business appointment.
We present the details of our services, we describe the dynamic and unique content of our program, the promised transformation of people and the fee… with the anticipation of a handshake and a start date.
Then it comes, like a slap on the face; “Thank you very much, we will be in touch.”
And nothing. We follow up in a few days, each long moment, wondering what we missed. We review the details of our presentation and the conversation with our client. If we are fortunate, we hear back with a variety of the same type of response; “no… not at this time… not in the budget.”
Here’s the part where the “no becomes a good thing”, for the next time or the next conversation with this same client.
Here is your opportunity to switch tactics, lighten the presentation component at your next meeting and ask more questions. The nature of your questions should be designed to capture the essence of what things are like for this organization. What has them considering your program, basically why are they shopping? What are things like for them as an organization, what’s not working and what would a better version of their organization look like? There is an art to building in these types of questions, it requires non threatening approaches supported by deep listening skills, but it’s well worth building these skills. Once you have earned their trust, the next level of your needs analysis is to ask them what their current conditions are costing them. It is important to emphasize that their conditions are relevant to the type of solutions you provide, stay within your expertise. Here is where the gold exists, the costs are typically associated with time and money, they are measurable. Examples include; lost productivity (time and money), employee turnover (money) and decreased sales (money).
The process of identifying and capturing their potential mounting costs by not taking new actions to improve the situation, aligns you as the obvious choice.
Impacts and ROI (Return on Investment) will become more common in your conversation. You will start to notice key impacts that line up with your solution and your business partner’s needs. The cost of investing in your solution will seem less confronting than the potential mounting costs of not engaging in your services. The more masterful we become in continuously gathering this data, the easier and more gratifying our sales conversations will become. As professionals committed to making a difference for our clients, understanding the learning underneath the “no” or rejection, definitely becomes “a good thing.”