Sell The Experience, Not the Concept

A few months ago, I was approached by Ron, one of the branch managers in a  financial services company, to submit a proposal to provide training for the company’s financial representatives who were almost all struggling to grow their practices. 

 Ron had seen my work. He arranged a meeting with his boss, the managing partner, who was eager to “get [his representatives] in front of more people.”  The only obstacles were that there were two other branch managers who needed to agree to put their representatives into the program, and the details of how the program would be paid for(what amounts would come from the boss, the branch managers and the representatives themselves) needed to be worked out. 

 While both of these branch managers who hadn’t met me agreed that training in this area was sorely needed, they became bogged down in the financial discussion. Frustrated, Ron asked me to meet with these branch managers to help explain the program to them and convince them to accept my proposal.

 I gave some thought to Ron’s request and realized that I could “explain” my program to them until I was exhausted, but all of my effort would not be nearly as convincing as having them experience what I do first-hand.  They did not need to have it explained, they needed to experience it.

 I proposed to Ron that we schedule a “Lunch and Learn” where I would give the representatives who work with these managers—and the managers themselves—a sample of my work.  I’d offer lots of ideas they could put to work immediately, but it would be only one small part of my sales training program.

 That presentation broke the logjam and I have been engaged to deliver my entire program.  If I had spent the same amount of time with these managers explaining the program, I don’t think we would have gotten past the “who’s going to pay for it” stage.

If you’re an advisor, a consultant, a coach, or an attorney, your prospective clients have an opportunity to experience working with you when they first consult you.  If the experience is powerful, something you can usually create through the questions you ask and the way you treat them and their concerns, they will have a better idea of what you can do for them than listening to your explanation of what you will do. Help them decide—not whether to hire you—but whether to continue working with you.  Sell the experience, not the concept.

 

I can help you grow your business, but only if you contact me now.  In the meantime, keep REACHING…