When Do Prospects Make Money
For many, mainly tech-related, solution sells, the buyer nowadays starts to gain from the moment they receive delivery.
In ye olde days, the huge Day One costs meant long and often arduous justification debates. Using internal rates of return graphs and discounted cash flow tables. Hoping to prove the time in three or four or more years off when financial benefits accrued would overtake the clump of initial (and ongoing) investment.
The beauty of ‘rental’ or subscription style payment schemes released buyers (and sellers) from the tyranny of guesswork.
And who wants to pay squillions up front on a hunch and leave yourself exposed, when you can pay relatively just a few groats instead for a month or two to see how things might go?
Whilst not quite as simple as it sounds, that’s the pitch anyway.
And I note a recent HBR podcast (June 2020) where the author of The Forever Transaction suggests over half-an-hour how any business can – should – join the new world of being a subs based one.
Then I heard this citation of an apparently old saying, from the home-buying obsessed British media, dropped by a daytime telly turned coaching course provider on the subject;
“you don’t make money when you sell a house, but when you buy one”.
I wondered how this might translate into a solution sell pitch.
The vibe being very much, don’t hang around, do it now. Only then will you make the most out of what you buy.
There is naturally the counter. One cited by Rory Sutherland of a friend’s wisdom, specifically around tech.
‘Yesterday is a great time to buy a computer, because you have already enjoyed it for a day.
Alternatively, buy a computer tomorrow.
The computer you buy tomorrow will be both faster and cheaper than the computers available now.
On no account, however, should you ever buy a computer today.’
Still. The construct remains in place. If buyers procrastinate, they at best stand still. Which in reality means they go backwards. Who wants to fall behind to ravenous, rampant and relentless competitors?
You could use this property adage as a frame setter.
If this deal were a house, …
Then follow on with asking (or stating) when exactly the money would flow in, or stop leaking out.
In whichever case, you at least start to have the money talk.
Which if you’ve the ideal solution for them, will give you the unique foundation to build success.