Have you ever felt you presented the perfect solution for a client, and they still would not buy? Frustrating, isn't it? Many of us need to pay more attention to the level of commitment, effort, or perceived risk on the part of our customers that our solutions require. We often assume that once our customers understand the benefits, they will buy, but this is not always true.
We must address four things in our customer's minds before we can fully understand their perspectives. They are risks, impact, cost, and effort. Any benefit for the customer must outweigh the perceived risks our customer has about our solution. We call this FUD. FUD is an acronym for fear, uncertainty, and doubt. Customers don't always tell us about their FUD. We need to create an environment where they feel comfortable sharing it with us, or we may lose the business wondering why.
Another thing to consider about our customer's perspective is our solution's impact on the customer or their organization. The higher the impact, the bigger the benefit needs to be to offset the potential risks.
Generally speaking, we all understand how perceived costs impact our ability to win business from a customer. We realize there must be some form of a financial return on investment before we can make a business case to move forward with a purchasing decision.
We also must consider how much effort the customer will put into making changes. Staples got it right with the easy button. Customers will shy away from complicated processes and procedures to buy from you. We must help them understand what they get as a benefit, and it must be worth the effort, or they won't buy.
One way to remember this is with the acronym RICE. The next time you are in the discovery phase with a customer, think about rice and ask questions about risks, impact, cost, and effort. The best way to understand the customer's perspective is to ask questions early in the process to determine what they perceive as the possible risks, impact, cost, and effort on their part and address them. For help uncovering your customer's perspective, enroll in our workshop this week on Selling Benefits.