You can find many opportunities for value exchange as you and your clients move through the decision cycle.
Hey guys, here’s a simple idea: never do something for nothing. Look for a value exchange all the time.
So in the decision cycle, we know that every single step along the way has to be an exchange of value. Now typically, the value starts by them getting something of value. There has to be some offer, at least a promise of value to get the thing started.
But then there’s a value exchange. If they get some value, you can ask for something as well.
When I first learned this concept, I was a young sales guy, and I was just being trained by a true master. So my boss Jim sat me down and said, “Listen, your peers measure their success by how many brochures they send out and how many manuals they send out. That is a crappy measure.”
He said, “I don’t want you to do that. I want you to only send out information that really adds value, and for an exchange.”
Now, my initial thought was, “Wow, he’s just, you know, not wanting to spend a few pennies on these brochures.” That was not it at all. I didn’t understand.
He walked me through, and he showed me how to do this. So, I was a college recruiter, and you’d be on the phone with some high school kid, and if the kid wanted to get rid of you, they would say, “Hey can you send me something.” To which, typical “Oh yeah, let me get something out to you.”
You may hear that, “Hey can you get me a reference? Uh can you send me some literature? Do you have a Power Point on this?” And what do we do? We take that monkey, and we race off to send them something. If they didn’t really want it, this is just an excuse to mildly, softly get rid of you.
Now, sometimes if they’re really interested, they say, “Can you send me something?” How do you know when it’s real?
Ask a simple question. Just follow it up with an outcome. So it looked like this, as a college recruiter:
Kid would say, “Can you send me a brochure?”
“I’d be happy to. Which brochure were you looking for?”
“Uh, I’m interested in the accounting program.”
“Great, I’ll put that in the mail today. You’ll have it by Thursday, no doubt. Take a look at that, why don’t I call you on Friday, answer any questions. What time Friday will you get home from school?”
And you set an appointment. I get an appointment, in exchange for a brochure. And if the kid willingly set the appointment, it tells you the kid is interested in the program. If he won’t set the appointment, it tells you something else. If he says, “Oh, um, uh,” if he’s hem-hawing around, and it’d be the same with your client. You’d say something like this:
“Listen, we’ve got some general information I can send out to you. There’s a periodic mailer that kind of covers the whole gamut.”
“Oh, yeah, yeah, send me that.”
That just affirms that they’re just trying to get rid of you. The periodic mailer? That’s something every student got that was interested. I didn’t have to do anything, they got the actual mailer, and I’d follow up later.
My goal was to focus on those genuinely interested at the time. It’s not to be busy.
Henry Ford said, “It’s not the sweat of the brow, it’s the size of the crop that counts.” Focus on the crop, not the busy work. OK? Focus on the outcomes that really produce. So, when you send out information, get an appointment. If someone asks you for a reference, say, “Assuming the reference checks out, and you hear what you’re hoping to hear, what’s the next step? Do we move forward to proposal?”
If they hem and haw, what they’re telling you is that they really don’t want the reference. So an outcome inquiry can help prove this out. So think about it. Don’t get sucked up into busy work. Look for value exchange along the way, and in a way, these are small calls to action, and it leads to the very end of this. When you have time for proposal, the call to action is, “Will you buy? Will you invest in this? Is this the one you want?”
You can ask that with greater confidence because you’ve built that along the way. This same exchange can be used for price objections. People ask you for a ten percent discount, in exchange for what? Will they write some more business? Will they introduce you to clients?
You might not be able to satisfy the entire ten percent, but you can satisfy some of it. So, look for opportunities for value exchange throughout the decision cycle. It’ll help you, it’ll help them, it’s win-win.
Joe Thomas, Westlake, California, we’ll see you on the next video.