Is Your Client Really Motivated to Ch-Change?

(turn and face the strain)
Just gonna have to be a different man
Time may change me
But I can’t trace time

— excerpt from “Changes, ” David Bowie, 1972


If your market is ch-changing, you may be secretly losing your “Top 40” status among your clients.  Perhaps you are suffering from one or more of these issues:

1. Lack of clarity about your target market and ideal client.
2. Prospective clients think your current brand is stale or confusing (witnessed by long sales cycles and growing pressure to drop your prices)
3. Employees cannot see how your vision and values link to your marketing messages. This often shows up as the “we serve everybody” marketing message.

When my clients are faced with these challenges, it’s essential to gain the client’s (or prospect’s) the cost of no change.  Here is how — and why — you need to master the “cost of no change” discussion with your prospective client.

By helping your prospective client understand the cost of no change, you can mutually determine whether it makes sense to pursue doing business together.  It also helps them identify the ROI you can achieve on an annualized basis.  Finally, it supports the fact that people make emotional decisions for LOGICAL reasons.

Let me share this formula as a guide, compliments of Ron Karr, Author of “Lead, Sell, or Get Out of the Way:”

The Cost of No Change MINUS the Cost of Change EQUALS the Perceived Value (or ROI).

For example, let’s suppose that the lack of clarity about your target market and ideal client is one of the causes of your sales cycle to double.  This can be exacerbated by launching multiple marketing programs with different messages sent to different audiences (which I affectionately call the “spray and pray” approach).  If an average cycle is six months, and an average sale is $200,000, what would it cost you to delay that sale by another 6 months? What is the additional cost of generating multiple marketing programs that generate few or no results? Or the missed opportunities due to focusing so heavily on closing a long, protracted opportunity?  These figures may quickly add up to $300,000.  That is one way of identifying the CNC.

If the Cost of Change (e.g. hiring a consulting firm to help you redefine your marketing strategy) is $300,000, then the perceived value would be calculated by subtracting $100,000 from the CNC.

This formula just might be the difference between feast or famine during these challenging economic times.  Give your prospects an emotional reason to buy from you!

Copyright 2009, Lisa Nirell.  All rights reserved.

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