Ever stop to think, “how can the client not want what I am recommending?”
It’s an interesting question isn’t it?
Sometimes the best looking solutions, on paper, have little to no value at all to your client because they are not attached to the specific wants/needs of the client.
If you are giving prescriptions/solutions, without thoroughly evaluating and diagnosing, that is called malpractice.
I have to share a quick story with you about my daughter Emily.
When she was little she had issues with allergies turning into respiratory infections. Most of the time this resulted in us having to give aggressive breathing treatments to help her.
Not fun for Emily or for Mom and Dad.
I will never forget one particular trip to the Doctor. We were there because Emily was having issues with an upper respiratory infection.
The nurse checked her in by weighing her and asking some basic questions about what was happening. Pretty typical so far but that’s when things got a bit scary.
When the Doctor came in she made a shocking statement, “based on the symptoms and her history we could be dealing with Cystic Fibrosis”. Now, if you don’t know, Cystic Fibrosis is a life threatening disorder. Our hearts hit the floor.
All my wife Stefanie could do was cry. I was furious. Pissed off to be exact. I asked the doctor, and I use that term loosely here, “what is this is based on?”
How could a Doctor make that type of assumption/diagnosis without thoroughly evaluating and diagnosing? No blood test, nothing.
We left immediately. We then reached out to Emily’s primary physician and filed a formal complaint against the Doctor on staff.
FYI, after a thorough evaluation and diagnosis it was determined that Emily did not and does not have Cystic Fibrosis. However, Asthma could be an issue that we have to keep our eyes on.
Whew, what a relief. We were extremely thankful for a Doctor that was willing to invest the time that was needed evaluating and diagnosing prior to providing solutions.
Are your clients much different from Stefanie and I?
Do you think that it makes your clients frustrated, angry, distrusting when you provide solutions that have not been thoroughly evaluated and diagnosed?
Is there value in your solutions without a want or need?
Don’t play the part of the expert, be the expert.
Let’s dig in.
Uncovering Needs in 3 Easy Steps:
- Open Ended– “Could you describe to me in as much detail as possible what has been going on with your widget.”
- Closed Ended- “ Have you had this issue with your widget looked at before?”
- Technical- “ What is the approximate age of the widget?”
- Emotional/Lifestyle- “ It must be frustrating to continue to have these problems with your widget?”
It’s important that we focus on the power of GREAT questions. A great evaluation does not end here though.
There are 2 additional key points that have to be clarified:
- It does us no good to ask powerful questions, if we are not prepared to actively listen to our client. Actively listening is a skill. It proves to the client that you care about their needs. LISTEN! Take Notes!
- Dig– as the client responds you will likely have a great opportunity to “dig” deeper and uncover additional wants or needs.
“ What type of budget do you have in mind for your new widget, 2-4k, 4-6k, 6-8k, 8-10k?”
Client- “ We are hoping to be able to keep it under 5k”
Tech/Consultant- “ If you don’t mind me asking, how did you come up with that budget number?”[/callout]
#2 – Diagnosis/Design
- Develop the Issues- During your diagnosis or design process, take the time to develop issues that have come up from the evaluation. It is likely you are now seeing some of the issues that the client has already told you about. Tie Back to that discussion. You will also uncover items that have not been brought up that need to be. But don’t just tell them what you found….
- Show vs. Tell- It is not always possible for the client to go with you to the location of the problem. When it is, there is nothing more powerful than having the client seeing the problem for themselves. If they are not able to go with you, take a video or take pictures. Seeing is believing for most. Telling them what you found could trigger thoughts of, “ he is trying to sell us things we don’t even need.”
- Slow Down– You will likely find the “root cause” of the clients issue quickly. Slow yourself down and dig deeper. Sometimes the problem is only a symptom of a bigger issue. Don’t stop at the first finding, continue to dig.
- 3rd Party Facts– Let’s not ask the client to just take our word for it. Prove it! It is powerful when we use 3rd party articles or information to prove our diagnosis or design criteria. Use articles from the Department of Energy, the EPA, the Manufacturer etc.
#3 – Get the Client to Own Your Idea
- Whose idea is best in the eyes of your client? Your’s or her’s? Her’s of course! You want the client to take your idea, and make it her own. There is GREAT power in the client owning your: idea, diagnosis, design need, the solution, and the investment.
- Gain Agreement- There is great power in getting the client to verbalize want/need. Questions are powerful to uncover wants and needs. They are also powerful when we use them to allow the client to verbally own the want/need.
- Put Stakes in the Ground- “On a scale of 1 to 10 how important is it to you that we address and resolve this issue?” When your solutions attach to verbalized wants and needs, “stakes in the ground”, the client owns the idea.
Don’t play the part of the expert, be the expert. Throughly Evaluate and Diagnose before giving any Prescriptions.
Would you pay more for something you did not want or need?
You have so many great solutions to offer your clients but….
Those solutions have little to no value if they are not attached to wants/needs.
Evaluate, Diagnose and Design solutions. Guide your client towards an informed decision to buy and allow them to own the idea.
Don’t let this message stop with you. Print it off for the entire team. Share it with others that you know need to hear the powerful training message.
Success is not an accident. It’s a result!
See you next time. We will discuss Closing and Objections!