I was having a conversation with close friend this morning. He was expressing frustration with a customer not moving forward on a particular deal. At the height of his frustration, my friend said: “We can have such a Monstrous Impact on the customer, why won’t they go through this Change?”
As we drilled down, quickly we discovered the customer agreed the impact could be tremendous, but the change was also Monsterous. Their reality was they were so focused on the day to day activities that regardless how compelling the benefit they could achieve, they chose to ignore it.
The other day, I was involved in a similar conversation with another sales person. She couldn’t understand, “we offer such superior value to what they are doing now, why won’t they change?”
It somehow seems illogical, if we can get a tremendous benefit for our companies, if we can manage the risks of the project, why not invest, even though it is a very big effort? What’s keeping the customer from moving forward?
Customers, however, may see it differently. It’s a natural reaction, customers equate Monstrous Impact with Monstrous Change!
The reality of our customers’ lives is very difficult. Customers are time poor, they have too much to do, too few resources to do them. Customers don’t have time to consider major initiatives or monstrous change. To many, getting through the week, the month, the quarter is all they can see or do. I don’t think I’m overstating it, by saying that most of our customers just want to get by.
Getting the “Big Things” done, regardless how compelling, is just not in the cards. Stated another way, they are so busy fighting the alligators, they don’t have time to drain the swamp.
So how are we going to be successful? We have to present our solutions in a context that fits their current reality. We have to recognize they are fighting to survive. We have to simplify, eliminate the complexity. We have to provide leadership in showing a series of little steps they can take to get Monstrous Returns. Most importantly, we have to be there helping them take these little steps, assuring their success and moving them on to the next little step.
Our path to sucess is meeting the customers in their reality and showing them the little steps that can produce Monsterous Results! Until we do that, we are spinning our wheels and frustrating the customer.
As a side note, there are two outstanding books that give great advice on dealing with this issue. The first is Jill Konrath’s Snap Selling. The second is Tom Peter The Little Big Things. Both are valuable and insightful reads.