“I’d like a car!” The woman announces confidently to the young salesman. He raises a quizzical brow as he nervously scans around the vast showroom of motor cars all around, in gleaming neat lines, not quite sure how to reply to such a broad and breathtakingly naive question.
You wouldn’t, would you? Yet I still get people asking me questions like: “I’d like a website that lets me advertise jobs. How much would that cost?” The feint of heart would feel that thump in the pit of their stomach, like the sales man, not sure what to say, or even how.
“I want my company website to be number one on Google” Oh yes! Less of pit-of-stomach moment and more of an angry-fist-in-the-air episode.
“We want to tell everyone about our new product. How much will that cost?” You want to tell everyone? Assuming you can really afford that, could your sales team even cope with the response? And do you even have a sales team?
But the fact of the matter is, we cannot in all fairness expect the average business person to know what we know. They have needs and expectations — sometimes naive, sometimes unrealistic — and it’s our job to meet them.
Of course, there are those amongst us who will happily say “Yes!” to all of the aforementioned, much to the detriment of our industry, and to the dismay of the client when in time, they realize they’ve been sold a lemon.
So what’s the solution? We educate. But that takes time, surely? Yes, but it’s all part of the added-value service and controlled experience we all really should be offering.
When a prospective client comes along, we inevitably invest an element of our time. How long is up to you and how much value you place in the potential for a lucrative contract. But if you’re able to demonstrate the value of your knowledge, that time can become an investment, because through education comes insight and understanding, out of which trust often emerges.
And before people buy from you, they must first buy into you. And trust is the one thing you can’t buy.