No, I have not suddenly become a techie geek writing an
article about good data management practices. I am writing about what prospects
routinely ask you after you've made a claim about what your product or service
can do. And with today's overly-cautious
buyer, it's not enough to claim you have the best product or service. You have to back up that claim.
Most people are either skeptical by nature or they've been
conditioned to be skeptical. This is
particularly true, as we all know, when it comes to prospects. And especially true when it comes to ice cold prospects. So whenever we make a claim that buying our
product or service will help them achieve something they want, they want us to
"back it up." Just as we would want
someone who was trying to sell us something to do.
What, then, are some ways we can back up what we claim? One way is with facts. Hard facts are hard to refute. Verifiable numbers are hard to argue
with. If 92% of customers who bought
your product are glad they did, and that number can be corroborated, there's a
pretty good chance your prospect will be glad too.
Another way is with references. Many people will only "buy into" what you're
claiming if someone they know and/or respect has "bought into" it too. Always have a supply of references handy for
your prospects to contact (permission by the prospect having already been
secured, of course).
Yet another way to back up what you're claiming is with case
studies. Many people are enthralled by stories. A well-written, or told, case study that
shows how someone else benefited from using your product or service can go a
long way towards allaying a prospect's concerns.
How do you know which one to use? It's simple.
Ask! People are different, and
what they'll accept as proof will likewise differ. So rather than guess, simply ask.
time to assemble your "evidence" - your proofs.
Then pack them in your briefcase or laptop bag, and carry them with you
when you go on calls. Then, when you
make a claim about your offering and are asked to back it up, respond with,
"I'd be happy to. So I make sure I do so
to your satisfaction, can you tell me what you'd need me to provide in order to
do so?" Then whip out the appropriate
proof. Followed shortly thereafter by