Better Business

Sell your business to grow your business

Cut Oranges

No, I don’t mean slap a price tag on it and hand it to a broker.

What I am talking about is how to onboard new clients without selling products or services but by selling results.

This concept is quite simple: If I was trying to sell a lawn mower I could talk about the speed of the blades, the engine performance, the width of the cut, the collection basket and so on.

Or, I could explain that the buyer will have the best-looking lawn on the street by using this particular mower. Neighbours will ask how the lawn looks so much better than theirs. Why the grass looks greener than theirs. What the secret is.

Suddenly the lawn mower becomes more than just a way to trim the grass, it brings results the buyer may not have considered. The buyer is visualising the unseen benefits.

For my business the services are pretty dull to sell. So when I talk to clients I focus on results.

When clients visualise their traffic increasing by 50, 100 or even 200%, they start to see their business growing. Sales going up, profits increasing, expansion and other possibilities.

When you incorporate other sales techniques such as the SPIN strategy, you can get their even faster.

  • Situation: Used to collect facts about the prospect / their situation.
  • Problem: Probing questions trying to identify problems, points of dissatisfaction or general difficulties the prospect has.
  • Implications: More in-depth probing for the consequences of a problem or the point of dissatisfaction based on information gained from previous questions.
  • Need-payoff: Need questions uncover the core need or buying realisation for the prospect. They focus their attention on the solution and the benefits they will receive as a result, rather than the product/service you are selling.

Neil Rackham is credited with creating that technique and it’s been proven time and again to work.

The “Sell me this pen” question has been around since the Stone Age.

There are many ways to successfully sell the pen, but this example once again touches on the client visualising unseen results.

They begin to visualise new business, growth and success, and associate all that with the pen. Here is the example:

  • CEO: Do me a favour, sell me this pen. (reaches across to hand me the pen)
  • Me: (I slowly roll the pen between my index and thumb fingers.) When was the last time you used a pen?
  • CEO: This morning.
  • Me: Do you remember what kind of pen that was?
  • CEO: No.
  • Me: Do you remember why you were using it to write?
  • CEO: Yes. Signing a few new customer contracts.
  • Me: Well I’d say that’s the best use for a pen (we have a subtle laugh).
  • Wouldn’t you say signing those new customer contracts is an important event for the business? (nods head) Then shouldn’t it be treated like one. What I mean by that is, here you are signing new customer contracts, an important and memorable event. All while using a very unmemorable pen. We grew up, our entire lives, using cheap BIC pens because they get the job done for grocery lists and directions. But we never gave it much thought to learn what’s best for more important events. This is the pen for more important events. This is the tool you use to get deals done. Think of it as a symbol for taking your company to the next level. Because when you begin using the right tool, you are in a more productive state of mind, and you begin to sign more new customer contracts. Actually. You know what? Just this week I shipped ten new boxes of these pens to Elon Musk’s office.  Unfortunately, this is my last pen today (reach across to hand pen back to CEO). So, I suggest you get this one. Try it out. If you’re not happy with it, I will personally come back next week to pick it up. And it won’t cost you a dime. What do you say?
  • CEO: (picks jaw up off floor) Yes

There’s a little bit of pressure towards the end of that sell which is fine. Sometimes you do need to give a push and the push in that instance is that it’s the last pen.

The CEO has one chance to get the pen or they miss out.

Selling the dream is easier than selling the product.

If you get in the business of selling a vision, your business will sell itself.

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