In regards to your business, the expertise you have gained over the years is completely worthless… until someone gives you money for it. If you have a medical doctorate, all you really have is a bunch of student loans until you have patients, and get paid for your knowledge.
From your potential client’s perspective, John C. Maxwell said, “People don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care.” They don’t care how great you are until they know you understand the situation and the problem they are experiencing. Your opinion here is worthless to the prospect, mostly because you are just another person trying to sell them.
What does this mean for you and your business?
The most common problem associated with this concept is called “Un-Paid Consulting.” This happens when you tell the potential customer everything about how you are going to solve their problem, and they return the favor by shopping out your solution to all your competitors looking for the best price.
They don’t trust you, yet. You have no commitment from them, so they are free to look around and compare prices on exactly what you offered. Also, they know they have a solution to the problem, so all of their stress is gone and the immediate pain fades away. If all else fails, they can call you back.
Another common problem is called “Spilling Your Candy.” You could also call it: boring the pants off your prospect. When you share your knowledge before it is needed, you are spilling the candy before anyone can enjoy it.
What do people love to talk about more than anything else? Themselves. If you are talking about yourself, then the prospect is not getting a chance to do what they love best. If your mouth is moving, you are in trouble already.
Also, product knowledge can be very intimidating. If you use industry buzz words, you make the prospect feel dumb, bored, or at the very least uninterested, triggering them to leave the conversation. Try this example: “This CPU has 8 GBs of RAM and a 2.3 gigahertz processor.” If you don’t know what that means, you are lost, confused, and looking for a salesperson that speaks English. If you do know what that means, you still don’t care as long as it solves your problem.
What is the solution?
Wait until you get paid to solve the problem. The goal of business is to go to the bank, not to prove how much you know. You might be asking yourself, how am I supposed to get anyone interested enough to buy without telling them how great or credible we are?
The answer takes us back to our doctor example. Does a doctor tell you everything he knows about medicine and the types of viruses you might have, and then let you decide which medicine you think will make you better? Or does he ask you some very smart, intuitive questions to narrow down the diagnosis first and then prescribe you the solution?
Your job as a professional salesperson or business owner is to find people with the type of problems you solve, build trust with expert questions while you diagnose the problem, get a commitment, and then prescribe the solution.
What problems do people experience when they need your product or service? What kinds of questions could you ask to uncover those problems and their consequences? Create an environment that allows your prospect to discover they need your help, instead of telling them.