What Can You Do for Me?


Article by Frank TraditiIn a previous article, The Pop Quiz You Need to Pass, I talked about three simple questions you must be prepared to answer any time you speak with a prospect. The first of these three is: “What can you do for me?”

It’s important to keep in mind that every marketing and sales conversation is heavily weighted in favor of the potential client. While it’s true that they may already see you as someone who can help solve their problem or create new opportunities, they also have the ability to say “no” in a blink of an eye, and end the conversation.

A sales presentation is not a time for idle chitchat. Your prospects have a real problem and they’re looking for a real answer. They want to know what you can do for them.

Here are some common — and sometimes fatal — mistakes that salespeople make when the time comes to answer this crucial question.

Show-Up and Throw-Up

This is the popular but ineffective approach of telling prospects everything your business does. Some salespeople seem to believe that if they toss out every single thing they offer, something will stick.

We’ve Been Around for XX Years or, I Have XX Years Experience

Just because you or your company have been doing this sort of thing since the 60’s doesn’t mean you’ll get an edge on the competition. The number of years doesn’t matter nearly as much as what you did with those years.

I’m Really Good with People (my personal favorite)

I have yet to hear anybody say they aren’t really good with people. Assume that your prospect already thinks you’re good with people, or you wouldn’t be talking to him.

Talking about Features or Processes Instead of Benefits

Salespeople frequently begin by launching into a detailed explanation of all the features that come with their product or the process their service uses. When you do this, you end up spending more time telling prospects how your product or service works than you ever do explaining what it will do for them.

These are just a few of the stumbles that can stop you in your tracks when the client is seeking the answer to “what can you do for me?”

Now, here’s how you can pass this part of the test:

  • Focus on their problem and your solution
  • Find out where their pain is and tell them how you can make it go away
  • Provide your prospect with enough concrete reasons to do business with you that they can clearly visualize a positive end result
  • Talk about how you perform your services or how your product works only after the client understands what the benefits are to them

To prepare for a sales conversation like this, look at each of your products and services, and clearly define what benefits it provides to your potential clients. Make a simple list of one-sentence benefit statements that start with words such as:

  • Increase
  • Improve
  • Reduce
  • Eliminate
  • Convert
  • Leverage
  • Create

Your potential clients want to know exactly how you can add value to their organization or to their life. That’s the reason that they are talking with you –- to help them solve a problem or take away some pain.

The message you deliver has to be focused like a laser toward that goal. If it isn’t, you’ll fail the test and lose the sale.

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