We have looked at the different type of buyers you are likely to encounter and more importantly their specific needs you will have to address with your solution with each type of buyer.

The next of the big five obstacles is “No Money”.

Unfortunately for many of us in sales the majority of prospects we meet do not have large amounts of cash reserves sitting in their bank accounts waiting for us to show up and relieve them of it regardless of the wonderful solutions we may have to offer.   They do however have funds they can access if the issue you uncover is big enough to warrant immediate action and worth diverting these to you.

This being the case we need to uncover the specific problem our solution can solve and then use what I term a Return on Investment Calculation (ROIC).  This will in essence turn the problem into an issue that requires immediate action.

A friend of mine showed how his solution could save a professional service business 273 billable hours at $120/hour.  This came to $32,760 – and his solution cost $12,000.  It was easy for the buyer to see how he could save money by reducing costs.

Evaluating the “return on investment” for a prospect (or customer) makes it easier for him or her to justify spending money on your product or service and helps the prospect visualize the value the purchase or investment will create.  This sales skill will help you position your offering apart from your competitors and ultimately make moving forward with you and our offer more compelling.

Your goal is to put the value your product or service creates in context for your prospect.  Sales professionals create this context by breaking down the costs associated with the product or service and illustrating how the purchase or investment provides a positive rate of return for the company.  When the prospect sees your analysis, they should conclude it’s a no-brainer. Above all, remember – the wiifm principle (what’s in it for them?) always applies.

Objective –

To provide quantitative information to demonstrate the hard value your prospect will receive by making an investment in our product or service.

Return on investment is defined as the amount of money they can expect to make or avoid losing as a result of making an investment…an investment is anything that is purchased for the purpose of generating income (or decreasing expenses) or an item that is expected to increase in value over time…while an ROI analysis can be very sophisticated and include such details as time value of money, tax rates and cash flows, a simple ROI analysis will generally work…just be sure to match your audience appropriately and never work at a level you feel they may not understand (it’s always best to be on the conservative side during your preparation)

Keep in Mind –

Your goal is to illustrate the investment you’re asking your prospect or customer to make in terms that help him or her see a positive return… be sure to…

• Keep our analysis brief and direct
• Clearly state your assumptions
• Include all costs (direct and indirect) the prospect will incur to make the investment

Things to Avoid –

Your prospect may disagree with your assumptions and approach…if so, you’ll have an additional opportunity to engage with your prospect and you’ll likely learn even more about how your prospect will make the buying decision… to ensure credibility of your analysis, you’ll want to avoid the following:

• Unrealistic assumptions on usage, response rates, etc
• Assumptions that the prospect cannot control
• Excessive time frames which exaggerate positive returns
• Over estimating the value of intangibles

Action Steps –

• Create a problems list – your solutions overcome
• Work out what costs potential buyers may be incurring as a result of not using your solutions

Brett Burgess is a Sales Trainer and Programme Developer for Sales Impact Group.