How do you discuss risk, reward and ROI in business? How many of you are familiar with this statement: “Mr/Ms Customer, what is the upside of making the decision to move forward with our program compared with the consequences of making no decision?”
What’s the objective of presenting your venture, engineering solution, product or platform to potential investors in this manner? When you use this “Mr/Ms Customer” statement, you are telling your customers that this is THE opportunity they can’t possibly afford to pass up. Yet they do. No decision is the decision they decide to make.
Consider how you are perceived by decision makers. A “no decision” call on the part of owners, funders and contract-signers doesn’t represent any form of risk to them. In fact, “no decision” is a positive decision. What are their perceived consequences of choosing not to make the decision to buy from you? These wise buyers have just mitigated risk in their organizations.
Consider your question from the decision makers’ point of view. Far too many sellers present the choice to buy as a form of veiled threat. What if you don’t decide to buy our product? You are going to regret it, down the road! The buyer is supposed to squirm in their seat and cave in to your selling demands. There’s no ROI in a veiled threat.That strategy worked in the post-industrial economy where cash was flowing freely. There was no downside to making a poor buying decision when your company was rolling in cash and could absorb that loss. That was then, this is now.
How can you present your product, platform or service in a manner which addresses the buyer’s scenario, not your need to make a sale?
Consider how your product, service or platform mitigates risk for your customers. How does your solution make them more competitive? There’s a reward involved in their making a decision to integrate your offering into their systems.
Consider how your product, service or platform rewards their company with reduction in waste, increase in operating efficiencies and improvement in time to market. If I am that buyer, I’m beginning to correlate my decision to purchase with actual top and bottom line numbers.
Consider how your product, service or platform decreases costs associated with production and distribution. When my investment in your solution makes my company more competitive, efficient and profitable, the ROI of my doing business with you is a no-brainer.
Consider your need to sell from your customers’ perspectives. They won’t buy from you just because you need to sell.
Instead of veiled threats, think Risk-Reward-ROI. Position your business development and selling strategy around those three words. See what happens not only this quarter, but over the next four quarters.
Babette N. Ten Haken, Founder & President of Sales Aerobics for Engineers, LLC, catalyzes revenue-producing business transition, startup growth and professional development, one millimeter at a time. She works with manufacturing and engineering firms and small business entrepreneurships. Download her newest White Paper at her Free Resources Page.