When was the last time you felt thrilled when somebody answered the question “what do you do” with the process they take you through?
Most probably, you rolled your eyes or tried politely to squeeze out of the conversation.
And most probably, this has happened to you if you answer the same question in the same way.
Why is that, you wonder.
Why talking about your process won’t help you to close sales (and what to do instead)
The short answer to why people roll their eyes is that process is mind-numbing, and therefore you need to be choosy where to drop it in the conversation. Using your process as the opener is not going to get the job done.
Also, using your process to answer this age-old question makes you feel salesy, which makes you feel awkward. Which, as a result, makes you lose your edge.
If you do networking to generate leads, how you answer this question can keep the exchange alive or kill it.
I hear you asking two questions:
- My process is my secret sauce. That is what I do. I am proud of it. Keeping it out of the conversation sounds counterintuitive!
- If my process is not the best way, what is it?
I am also very proud of my process, don’t get me wrong. After all, it helps me get my clients from where they are to where they want to be.
The thing is, describing your process (in addition to being mind-numbing) does not convey the value you bring to your client.
The results of your process do.
Skipping the mind-numbing details
If you want to engage your listener and have the opportunity of getting her to hand over her money, she needs to see the value in your work.
Results convey your value because they explain how your work can help them achieve their goal in a compelling and relatable way.
I could elaborate hours on this, but allow me to illustrate it with this example.
Look at this:
-What do you do?
-I develop software
The conversation enters in a coma state, and you wonder how to keep it alive.
Now consider this:
-What do you do?
-I help entrepreneurs to save money on their taxes and other company expenses.
-Wow, tell me more – How do you do that?
The difference is, in the first case, I am focusing on the process. In the second, I am focusing on the benefit (results) for my client.
And that is where most of us go wrong: we tend to bring the process forward because that’s what we do for a living. That’s what makes us who we are.
But clients do not care about the secret sauce. They care about outcomes.
Other benefits of focusing on results
There are additional benefits to focus on results instead of the process.
It creates more opportunities for you
A client of mine in the catering-events industry called me in panic when due to the covid pandemic government forbid large scale events.
Overnight her flourishing business wasn’t flourishing anymore.
I asked her why did clients book events with her (aside from her delicious canapes and impeccable organization >> process)
She said to launch products and get their names out (visibility and positioning >> outcomes).
“If you know the end goal is visibility, what other ways are there for them to achieve the same results?”
Without hesitation, she answered, “Networking!”
My client, a networker pur-sang, could still help her clients achieve similar results using a different process.
You don’t get trapped inside of your business
When you elaborate on your process, you run the risk of putting yourself between a rock and a hard place.
Let’s say your process includes 3 hrs 1:1 coaching. If you and your client achieve the desired result in less time because you hammered on the specific number of hours, your client might feel taken advantage of if the hours are not used (yes, some people can be anal like that).
Remember, the more time you do something, the better you become, the less time you will need to achieve the same result. See the danger of being specific like that?
Also, while your people may go through the same steps in your process, you don’t necessarily use the same tools & techniques to help them achieve a given outcome.
So if you promise a walk in the woods as part of your coaching but the weather doesn’t allow it, you either need to postpone the walk and risk losing momentum or use a different tool to achieve the same result. What’s best?
And everybody is different. Some people may not respond well to the walk in the woods because it distracts them. Are you still gonna force them to do it?
In short, focusing your communication on the outcomes has more benefits for you and your client.
Do I never get to speak about my process?
Of course, you do!
When your client is ready to understand your process’s role in them achieving the desired results, you bring the process into the conversation.
And for that to happen, you first need to gain their trust and show them that you understand their problem.
Look, if my issue is overweight (which it is) and you start with telling me you have a solution that involves “increasing your physical activity levels and nurture your body with the right food”, (which are far-fetched words to say it requires me to go to the gym three times a week and live on celery and carrots), I will not listen to you.
But if you say to me, “you will regain your ideal weight without giving up carbs”, you get my attention. I’ll be more open to hearing about increasing the physical activity part and other things that I am not just ready for earlier in the conversation.
Seriously, isn’t there a way to bring my process forward earlier in the conversation?
Yes, there is.
People do not buy processes. People buy transformations.
When you package your services with a definable outcome, you use the process as leading in the conversation. This gives you the ability to grow your business faster than you ever thought possible AND have a profound impact WITHOUT feeling like you’re trapped inside of your business.
Interested in finding out how you can look at your process with different eyes?
Book a complimentary virtual coffee call. I will help you understand how packing your solution differently will ease the sale. No strings attached.