There are many reasons customers don't want to change the way they're doing business. They're happy with what they have, they have too many products in their line already, or they don't see the value in what you're selling. Most of all, they've become set in their ways, and that's what seems to get in the way of your selling.
We all need to get through the obstacles that stand in the way of selling customers on the benefits of changing to our product or service. Here are 10 simple steps to help you sell change, even when customers want to stay the same:
1. Show them what they'll gain from the change. Pointing out the return on investment is a valuable way of making your case; provide numbers, examples, facts and figures, a statistical analysis--whatever it takes to help them visualize how making the change will benefit them. Just remember: Nothing is stronger than your belief in the idea you're presenting. You must have faith in your product or service in order to give customers the confidence to make the change.
2. Don't be afraid to close. Asking a closing question too early is not a crime. In fact, it usually brings out the problem or specific objection your prospect has ahead of time so you can deal with it and qualify the opportunity right from the start.
3. Sell the change with testimonials from someone who's been there, done that. Hand prospects a list of your clients, and tell them to call anyone on the list. They can talk about why they do business with you and how they've benefited from the change they made by going with your company.
4. Understand your customer's customer. Understand their competition. Understand their marketplace. This will give you more opportunities to tie in the value of your product and how it impacts their industry challenges.
5. Let them try out the product. Testing your product gives prospects a taste of things to come.
6. Make sure you're always building a relationship. When someone likes you, trusts you and respects the knowledge you bring to the table, he or she will be much more open to making a change.
7. Question everything. "Why is that important?" "What does that mean to your customers?" "Can you expand on that?" Getting the customer to give you the right in-depth information gives you the ammunition to make an intelligent presentation on why changing to your business will make all the difference.
8. Do your research. Find out what other areas of their business they made changes to in the past, why they did it and what benefits they received from making those changes.
9. Break through barriers with conviction, belief and confidence. Whenever a new idea is introduced, you're bound to encounter some resistance. Customers who have been doing things the same way year after year aren't necessarily open to alternative ways of thinking. Selling the change means being relentless and empowered by the passion within. When you believe in your case, so will the customer. Don't forget that they are buying you, and you are part of the change.
10. Learn to listen, and listen to learn. Only when we're really tuned in to the customer can we find out the real reasons they're averse to change.