“Nancy….you’re making this too difficult for me.”
A client recently wrote those exact words to me in an email.
Those are not the words I ever want to see — or hear. The email then went on to tell me how busy he was, what he wanted to “just get done”, and for me to take care of it.
What came to mind as I read that email was advice I received early in my sales career: Never underestimate the laziness of your buyer.
I knew I could make this right and quickly simplified my request for his next action and the sale was made that day.
While I don’t know about the actual laziness of my buyers, I do know that if a sales process for securing our services isn’t easy — we quickly lose them.
This is why we need to make it easy for our buyers to get what we offer from the start to the finish.
Make it E A S Y for Buyers to Buy!
How do we ensure we’re aren’t overcomplicating and delaying or losing the opportunity to work with our buyers so they can get the help they so badly need? By making the decision-making EASY.
E – Engage with us and our solution. Whether you sell face-to-face, virtual live, or use resources on your website for buyers, the buyer needs to be engaged. Based on research of buyer’s demands from those selling to them, buyers want to be part of the process. They don’t want to be “sold to” they want their interactions to be inclusive.
In our conversations with buyers, if we don’t make it easy for them to get what they need – the information, proof, samples, etc. – they disengage and won’t respond to future emails or calls.
If your first “meeting” spends 75% of the time explaining your expertise and your services, you’re not engaging with them and learning what is important to them.
I’ve had Financial Advisors tell me that this is their opportunity to explain their services, so the person can decide if the fit is right for them. The problem with that is that your explanation of services, if not connected to something important for them, is not engaging and will end with a low probability of you earning their business and the opportunity for them to benefit from your services.
A – Act on their next steps. If the buyer needs to DO something, we must make it easy for them by clearly stating the why, what, how, and when.
In my example at the start of this post, Rob was looking for a pre-hire assessment for a candidate. The assessment he had used in the past wasn’t right for this situation and so I asked him to take 10 minutes to complete a profile for a better assessment. Notice, BETTER is key here. What he did in the past was not as effective and is better accomplished with the assessment for a sales role, not a personality assessment.
Yet, the extra step with 10 minutes didn’t fit into his schedule and he wanted to act quickly on the candidate.
The solution was for me to complete the profile for him (I knew the role and could do so) and send the link to the candidate. Completing this action for him got the sale done and the client’s response was “You’re the best.”
In the process for selling your services, is it clear what the buyer needs to do along the way? Does it require a lot of upfront effort from them without them understanding the value it can be?
While questionnaires and online forms in advance of meetings are helpful, and buyers with a big immediate need will complete them, for your buyers who are just starting to look at services or who have trepidation about sharing their very personal information with someone they haven’t met, this may stop them early.
Of course, you may say, “Well, I only want to work with buyers who are ready.” And if you find yourself with more business than you know what to do with, that’s a reasonable criterion.
However, if you’re like many of the practices I know, you do need to help some buyers through the decision-making process to secure your services. And that’s when you must engage them from early on, so they will willingly share information. How? Explain the value of the questionnaire for them by noting…
Completing this information in advance of our time together will help you start the process of looking at your entire financial situation and clarify your objectives of working with a professional advisor. The information is confidential and will be a starting place for our conversation to ensure your time is well spent.
S – Sort through the information around their problem, opportunity, want and need, and the value that they will receive if they work with you.
People’s brains are full. They simply don’t have the bandwidth to take on information that doesn’t matter for them.
If you leave it up to them to figure out the value of what you offer or why they should take an action, they won’t. This is where the perceived “laziness” comes in. It might not be as much about physical exertion as it is about mental exertion to “figure it out.”
Make it easy for your buyers to get the information that is important to them. How? Begin with finding out what they already know, what they’ve already done, their opinions, fears, and dreams. That information will help you “right size” what you share. Right sizing means adjust the depth, breadth, and style of the information you share.
For example, an analytical person has most likely researched solutions to their situation. They’ve most likely gathered details, examples, and data and what they need from you is a way to put it into context relative to them. They will be turned off if you tell them what they already know. Instead, when you can validate, cut out the clutter they don’t need, and share information that builds on what they know, you are valuable to them.
If your planning services include an entire section on college planning, but the couple never plans on having children, the information you share is a waste of their time and may even get them thinking they could be overpaying for your services because they won’t be using all of them.
Y – Yearn. Buyers need to yearn for or desire what we offer them. They need to see that our services are going to be valuable to them and should want the solution quickly.
To help the yearn or desire takes some work. We must make sure that everything we describe is connected back to What’s in it for Them (the WiifT). The more they see and understand the value FOR them specifically, the higher the urgency and yearning.
How does this sound in the real world? If you are explaining how your annual meetings lay out to a couple who are focused on paying down debt, instead of saying, “You’ll have four meetings a year to review your status and progress on the plan.”
You would say, “We’ll meet four times a year to review your progress on the plan and celebrate your debt reduction. Then you’ll be able to determine if there is more you want to do in that area or whether getting that newer car is important.” The key is to make the information relevant and connected to something very important to them.
So, there you have it, E A S Y ways to stop your buyers from letting laziness, overwhelm, or full brains stop them from the important decision to work with you.
Don’t let your buyer’s busy brains be lazy when making the important decision to work with you. When your buyer’s journey is easy, you’ll see faster decisions, more confidence in the decision, and have a whole lot less follow-up.
Now that’s an easy way to grow your firm and help more people, isn’t it?
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