Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Key Reasons Customers Spend Money

Let me ask you two questions.

1. Assuming money is tight, for which of these will you find a way to pay somehow:
A. A tooth ache.
B. Teeth cleaning.

2. Which of the following will get greater attention from you?
A. News of significant upcoming "reductions in force" to take place within your department.
B. News of your employer making a profit, resulting in year-end bonuses.

If you're like most people, you answered A to both.

There are 3 main reasons people spend money, in this order:

1. Alleviate current pain.
2. Alleviate potential pain, i.e. fear of what might happen.
3. Gain, to make something better.

With this in mind, as you are meeting your clients and prospects, carefully look and listen for what's paining them today and what they fear might happen.

This is where your opportunities are, particularly #1 and #2. Where you can help your clients the most, for which they will pay you, and areas in which they will take actions quicker.

By the way, these don't have to big things. It's often the little things that cause great deal of pain. Let me share an example.

Once I was working with a client who was putting together a very large conference program, a highly time sensitive mission critical piece for their organization. Her frustration was that she was getting ad files for ads that were to be placed in the program and these files were coming from various sources in variety of formats. Given her limited knowledge of software programs, she had no way of checking these files, let alone work with--causing her lot of stress. One day she reached out to me asking me if I knew of anyone who could help her.

As this was a source of pain for her, I offered to have one of our designers help her, simply out of goodness to help. Long and short of it is because we helped her in time of need, to our pleasant surprise she later asked us to produce these programs, which we ended up doing not just that year but also many times in the future, adding tens of thousands of dollars in very profitable revenue to our company. Furthermore, as the relationship strengthened through such "little things", we received more and more work from this client over many years.

Therefore continuously ask yourself, what can you do to make your clients life easier, to take their pain away, no matter how big or how little. It's not only good business, you'll feel much better too for then you'll also be working towards a higher cause, to make this world a better place by helping others.

On a side note, yet in connection with this post, I want to share with you something I learned from David Blanchard, CEO of The Og Mandino Group. As it inspired me so much, I now start my days, everyday, with this. It goes as follows:

"Lord, if there is anyone I can serve today, put them on my path and I will serve them".

I personally can not think of any thing more joyful and fulfilling then to help another in their time of need, helping them alleviate their pain. The feeling is priceless.

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