It is highly likely that when your team is engaging prospects they are leading with why change to YOU.
The emphasis is on you, your company, how great you are, and how you will help them. While you likely can help them, all they hear is you pitching them and they think you sound and act like all of your competitors.
Here is what your prospect needs to know:
What has changed in their industry that may be challenging them or providing them with opportunities.
What has changed in your industry that has caused you to make changes to better serve your clients.
When you look at the clients you have won this year, what were the factors that influenced their decision to do something different—and with you as their new partner?
Your clients don’t know what they don’t know and it is your team's responsibility to help shape their lens and get the results they want.
You Need A Theory for Why Your Dream Client Should Change
One of the reasons prospecting is so difficult is because most of us swim in Red Oceans, crowded markets with fierce competition. In a Red Ocean, success requires that you displace your competitor, taking their clients from them while working to protect your own clients. When your dream client already has a partner, they often believe there is little need to meet with another salesperson.
Even if you have clear and compelling differentiation, unless your dream client believes that differentiation is possible—and that you are significantly different from your competitors—gaining the Commitment for Time will be difficult. Unless you know something that will benefit your dream client, it can be a real challenge to move your dream client to meet with you. To trade enough value in exchange for the time you are asking your prospective client to give you, you need to have some theory as to why they should change, even if you present that theory indirectly.
At some point in the past, your dream client changed from one partner to another. They didn’t go to the trouble to change for no reason. They changed partners because they were compelled by something—and someone—to do something new to produce a better result. If your prospect is not already engaged in the process of changing, you have to provide them with a reason they should change. One place you might start this conversation is with what has changed since they started working with their current partner.
What has changed in your dream client’s industry that may be challenging them or providing them with opportunities?
What has changed in your industry that has caused you to make changes to better serve your clients?
When you look at the clients you have won this year, what factors influenced their decision to do something different—with you as their new partner?
What you learn here provides you with a potential theory for why your dream client should change what they are doing—and who they should have as a partner.
What Is Changing and Why?
The truth about competitive displacements is that they take a lot of time and effort, both worthwhile investments because the clients you win tend to be large, strategic, and partner-oriented, all of which allows you to do your best work. The time you spend becoming—and becoming known as—someone with ideas worth pursuing lets you get way out in front of any opportunity for a displacement, by nurturing the relationships you need. Those relationships give you the chance to share what is changing and why, building the case for change.
What are the changes that are just barely visible now but have implications for your client’s future results?
Why are these changes going to have a negative impact on what your dream client is doing now or how will they provide a new opportunity?
Answering these questions enriches your theory of why your dream client needs to change soon, if not immediately. Relying on your product, services, or solution isn’t likely to be enough to cause them to fire their longtime partner. If you don’t have a better reason for your prospective client to change, they aren’t likely to have one either.
How M. Allen helps with your growth needs (one minute video below):