What you can do to avoid losing a sale (the way I lost one)

I’ve a client who has used my services a few times.

But the number of purchases is one less than I would have liked.

And I think I know why it didn’t happen.

Let me tell you quickly what happened.

In another business I use research (mainly surveys) to provide clients with clear recommendations on what to do in areas such as improving employee engagement, increasing customer satisfaction levels, and exploring the viability of proposed new products or services. (See www.surveyguru.com for more info.)

Anyway, this client told me why she wanted to use me on a particular project – a project that would include the design of an online survey and the analysis of the survey results.

Firstly, she wanted to save time by outsourcing the work. That was one good reason – we need to be vigilant with our time – the one resource we simply cannot squander.

Secondly, she wanted to use an outsider in order to avoid her own bias. That was another good reason, e.g., people designing their own surveys can (innocently or not) ask leading questions, fail to ask delicate questions that need to be asked, can view results through a biased lens, etc.

She was showing good self-awareness. But she was missing one piece. Yes – she knew that using an outsider like me would help avoid the bias. But, aside from that, she was missing the fact that I was better than her at survey design because I’ve studied, practiced and done it for over a decade.

I lost the sale. Maybe her budget got cut. Maybe she concluded she could do a DIY job and have a colleague review things. I don’t know.

But what I do know is this: I failed to demonstrate to her the true value of using my services. I didn’t demonstrate the full value of what I bring to the table. And that’s my fault.

Can you articulate the value of what you do? Could you do a better job of it?

Are you viewed as a hired hand or as a trusted partner? Could you shift perceptions more from the former to the latter?

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