Welcome back to The prospecting show, where we talk about tips, tricks, and methods for creating a small business pipeline. On your host, Dr. Conor Robertson, today I’m gonna be talking about communication in the sale versus the post-sale, and recently this action came up in our business and with a couple other businesses that were working with on the consulting side, and it’s very important, in my opinion, to look at what you sell versus what you deliver, at the end of the day, it’s great if you’re a closer and you’re somebody who does all your prospect and get people to the table, convince them of what you have being a solution to their problem, and then closing the deal, where there’s difficulties when you close that deal, but you don’t actually deliver on that, and I see this time and time again with some of the clients that we prospect for and help build their pipelines, because what ends up happening is being great people to the table, but the way the sales process goes, usually convince people to buy something, but then again, they don’t have great social proof and they don’t have a great audience based because they didn’t deliver on that post-purchase item.

So what can you do to make sure that from the close to the actual retention, that that whole process is super smooth, and in my opinion, the easiest way to do that is really look with the client asked for in the pre-sale, are they saying that they want new business, but they saying they want your product, your service, what is it specifically that you are gonna be helping them solve, and then make sure that everything you’re doing is focused around that, so if they’re coming to you and saying, Listen, we’re looking for leads for our business… Well, at the end of the day, they’re not actually looking for lead, but they’re looking for as an opportunity to have more business occur, create more revenue, create more opportunity for them, they don’t really care how you get the leads, I don’t really care how you do that, process, but what they do care about is how you get them the result, they care about what that result is, how fast you get it, what that looks like, and I… For me, one of the most difficult things is explaining how you’re gonna do that at the end of the day, people when they drive a car, they don’t know how all the components are working, but they know when they put it into gear and push the gas pedal of the cargoes for… That’s the same for your service, if you’re offering something and trying to tell them about all the components, if you are gonna on lose the sale and to have a terrible post-purchase experience for your customer, because they’re not gonna understand why you’re doing what you’re doing, a perfect example of this right now is we’re working on some graphics projects and the customer is conveying messages to our team on what they’re looking for, but they’re not providing enough detail, and so it’s our responsibility as the vendor in this particular case to make sure that we ask the right question to get the right answers, and what that looks like instead of asking, What are you looking for in this graphic, we have past things like Could you throw on a piece of paper for… Show me what the essential items are, let me do a mock-up for you and give it back to you so you can see what we’ve created and tell us yes or no. That’s what you’re looking for. That’s not what you’re looking for.

And then we can test that against what the customer originally asked for, and I think in all parts of your business, whether that’s marketing sales, some type of process automation, if you have a professional service like graphics or just a product that you’re selling, it doesn’t really matter you have to be testing against with a customer, ask for, if you’re selling some type of health product and you say it’s gonna do X, but then they get in, it does why? You’re gonna have a mismatch between what they thought they are buying and what they got, and that’s gonna lead to a negative outcome and the post-purchase pathway, and in any of the ongoing referral process, if you have a great business, you will have tons of referrals that will come in, but when you don’t have referrals is when what you sold and what you deliver are totally different.

I think another way that you can focus on and making sure that you have a better experience for your customers is by chunking what you’re doing, and what I mean by that is if… Back to the graphics example, if you have to make three, four, five, six different banners or images, what you should do is go to them and show them out mock-up for one of them and say, This is what we’re thinking for these three or four different banners there’s three or four different images, what do you think as the customer, get that feedback in one frame or one mindset, and then go back and produce the rest of the work, don’t get all the way to the 5-yard line and then test that against your client, make sure you do that first because that’s gonna save both you time, the client time and everybody, it’s in between, especially if you have other vendor partners that are working with you, so do one little piece test against the client. Make sure that’s right. Find out and ask the hard question, What do you like about this? What don’t you like, developers, all the different pieces that they feel super comfortable about the piece you’ve delivered for the service of the product you delivered, and then you can multiply that and expand it.

The other thing, emails do not send emails if you are not gonna interpreting them or your client does not, if you send in kind of an off email where you’re saying, Oh, I don’t like this…

Well, that’s not useful. What’s useful saying, I don’t like this because X… And you and your client both have to be able to talk about that, both in the sales process, in the post-purchase process, and then actually during fulfillment of whatever your services, you have to be willing to test it time and time again. Say, when you give me feedback, it has to be, I don’t like this because x 4, I like this piece, because why?

If they’re not qualifying and quantifying why they like something or dislike something, you are gonna have an extremely difficult time ever matching those two gaps together and closing them down.

When you get into a process where the client’s not sure really what they want, you have to be willing to go back to the sales process to re-close them on why they’re doing what they’re doing, when a client’s asking for, let’s say, professional services consulting, or they’re looking for a sales team, they’re asking for that help in a specific use case, if they’re hiring a sales team, they’re looking to grow their revenues, so you have to go back and say, Listen, what are your goals around revenue growth that we need to hit that we can figure out how we make decisions, if you don’t have a road map of making decisions to be extremely difficult every day to wake up and figure out What are we gonna do today to make sure you meet that goal, so you have to have the goals in the table your client has to have and everybody in between OU to be very clear and what those goals are.

The next piece is the satisfaction when something does not go wrong, you need to sit down the client and say, This is what we’ve delivered, are you happy or are you not happy, and that’s gonna be a hard conversation for a lot of people because they’re really good at selling stuff, but they’re not really good at making sure that that’s the client needs, and that kind of brings us to retention, which is honestly just as important as being a good salesperson when you’re out there prospecting and trying to fill your pipeline. That’s great, but if you have a new client come on every month, in a new client leave every month, that means you really have a retention problem, not a sales problem, and it’s honestly just a lot better to get good at what you’re doing, have a good communication process that your customers wanting to stay with you longer so that you don’t have as much of a problem and probably the best way to do that is through communication.

You gotta sit down, you gotta have those goals, you gotta test them consistently every time you talk with the client, and you have to make sure that everybody’s on the same page.

If you’re not willing to do those steps, you are gonna find yourself in a position where that is not gonna be very successful long-term, and the reason I bring that point up is there are a lot of businesses out there that offer either a recurring service or recurring product ordering.

So if you have a small product that’s a consumable or even a capital equipment purchase that somebody’s making, you have to be willing to look at the long-term value of the client, of the light Fabio the client, the lifetime value is really a perceived number, it has nothing to do with how much you could potentially sell them in the year, it has to do with what do you do in the post-purges pathway to make sure that they’re happy so that they refer somebody else and continue to buy what you have… If you have a platform, some kind of software that you’re selling, it doesn’t really matter, you wanna make sure that people are staying on for a long period of time because you’re giving them tremendous value, that was what the cost is, as soon as you start creating problems not listening to the client, that value is gonna start going down in your cost is gonna stay the same, and because that you’re gonna have a value cost Miss match.

So the best way to solve that is communication, do a meeting with your client weekly, make sure you’re really clear on the expectations, and when they ask for something that doesn’t make sense or they don’t give you enough details… Don’t do it, stop, talk to that team member, talk to the salesperson, talk to the fulfillment person, whoever it is, and say, what other information do we need to be successful as a whole, both you as a service provider or the sales person and the customer, don’t go in there and just say, Yeah, this is what we thought they needed, so that’s kind of the concept of all the pieces that I want to talk about today, I hope you found some value in that, and thanks a lot for tuning into the prospect and show, we’ll catch up next week.

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