Jumat, 12 Desember 2014

Selling Through Education

The role that I play in my company, Pinnacle Equity Solutions, truly unique. Every day I could talk with top advisors from across the country on the topic of exit planning. This is very interesting because we all realize how new this industry and what great opportunities exist to provide leadership in the local market and the business owner clients.

One of the most interesting topics that I find myself discussing the concept of 'selling through education'. In addition to the above general comments about the market changes that we are all in, the fact remains that the 'exit plan' is a relatively new concept as the industry is still emerging. Therefore, I see a lot of advisors and institutions promoting 'exit plan' without any real awareness of what 'exit plan' actually. In addition, I went with a steady awareness that most business owners do not know, exactly, why it's important to plan out their lives.

It is the responsibility of each individual advisors to educate the market on this topic and do it in a way that serves the best interests of the owner of the business, while also build revenue and profits for the advisor.

How then, in this changing market, this new service can be described and delivered?

We begin by acknowledging that this time - no matter what the products or services we sell - a potential (or existing) clients and our customers are very busy. This economy has the best of business people questioning their decisions and consider every purchase they make with the perceived importance and immediate in their present life. From the perspective of management practice, this makes our life more challenging, but, at the same time, creates a tremendous opportunity if you have the ability to educate your clients as part of the marketing and sales process.

Almost every coaching students I work with redefining their message to the market. I strongly encourage every advisor to write Special Reports - White Paper or short - which explains who they are, what they do, the markets they serve, and the reason why the work they do is very important for their clients.

Why is this so key?

Because consumers are more discriminating than ever and we need to reach out to them to tell them our story. In addition, because everyone seems so busy, it is important to put the information in front of them that they can review, on their own schedule, to learn more about you, what you offer, and why it is relevant / important for their lives now.

The largest extension of this practice, for me, has become Exit Your Business book that I wrote last year. As the owner of a business that is more and more and adviser reading the book, they are interested in the messages in this book. This, in turn, pull them to the Pinnacle business. And, the key point here is that when they contacted Pinnacle office, they already know what we do, why we do it, and the importance of immediately that he has in their lives. It really helps with the sales process, ie sales through education and attract customers and clients (in our case, members) that 'prequalified' with their interest in our services.

POINT: People who want to do business with will actually read what you have to say and will evaluate their purchasing decisions without you 'sell' them - you educate them about the importance of relevant and immediately what you are doing so that they can apply to their lives today. Potential customers and clients can understand your view of the world before you meet them in person or by phone. So, when you meet with them you do not try to explain your value proposition by means of time-compressed. Instead, the meeting became the verification process what you do, not a discussion about finding what you're doing. Once again, people / business owners are short on time these days - so, we adjust our processes to meet the market.

The process of improving communication because it raises the logical question that every adviser needs to ask themselves in this market. That 'what I VALUE bring to the client / prospect that I am currently talking to? "

In the last call with advisers interested in Pinnacle process that I asked the following questions -

'when you talk to the owner of the business, what value do you feel you bring to the conversation? "and

'What differentiates your practice in their eyes and why they should do business with you? "

Ironically, even though I asked the question directly, I got a strange answer - he just said 'You're right'.

The 'you're right' answer is the recognition that there is no value in a conversation with the business owner. In this world of increasing commoditization of services, advisory admitted - for himself - that there is no value. Therefore, why would a business owner to do business with him?

It seems crazy. But so is the world we live in.

Once you understand the value of what you offer - which is what you really need to give this thing a client and relationships, work is far from over. You then have to educate your prospect / client about why this value is relevant to their current situation. Again, the process of the 'sell through education'.

If you are more focused on what you need to give to these clients than what you can get from the relationship, things really began to take shape. And it is the main conversation I had with each of my coaching students as we navigate this rapidly changing world. And, because this exit planning industry appears to take shape faster and faster, it's bound to each planner out to understand and communicate what planning out and why it will change the lives of business owners.