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You Become Your Customers [As a Salesperson]

You become your customers, so beware!

Most people starting a business have an "I'll take what's available" mindset. They got this from job hunting, and the problem with it is that they're choosing their opportunities from the things they can currently see.

Now we've discussed how critical your Reticular Activating System is when it comes to filtering all that data out there down to the survival-relevant few. That better level of customer is standing right there next to you, but you can't see them because your RAS blocked them out!

The same thing happens with salespeople. They land the new job, settle into their role, and get told by the old hands, "Here's our target market."

After all, it has always been so.

open sign, open for business, choose your customers, sales tactics, positioning, target market, define target market

Photo by Amina Filkins from Pexels

Now if you're an operational excellence guy like me, those are trigger words. Any time I hear, "But we've always done it this way," I get curious. "Oh? According to whom? For how long? Why?"

But especially if you are a business owner, and a new business owner, realize that you have far more control over your target market than you may have realized.

Most people abdicate this responsibility.

They go out into the market and take what comes.

How You Become Your Customers

Price level? We've discussed this for years, how people make up a number that fits their money tolerance.

The size of their standard customer's business? Whatever they encountered first and got accustomed to. Now it's ingrained and "obvious".

How those buyers pay? Are they always 30 days late from the invoice?

And here's the serious problem.

You accept this.

Whatever they give you, you take.

Their behavior alters your behavior.

After awhile, you've forgotten any of this is in your control. It just "is".

They pay 30 days late? Well, now you pay 30 days late. That's just how it is.

You become your customers.

So choose wisely.

Don't take surface appearance's word for it.

Dig.

Get to know your marketplace.

Look for niches, levels, types of customers that aren't readily apparent.

Look for bundling opportunities of products or services, ways to add value, how you can really impress your ideal customer.

Don't simply accept the first thing you run into out there.

You have far more control over your target market choice than you think.

What would happen if you made a list of the desired qualities of your ideal customer... and then instructed your RAS to start filtering for that?

>> Jason Kanigan is a business development and conversion expert. Want Jason's help in defining your realistic, ideal target market? Book a consultation <<

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Money Tolerance And The Games We Play

Money Tolerance is a topic I'm surprised to find I haven't written much about here, given that it is such a central concept not only to the sales training I deliver but also to life. Your life.

If we look at the 80/20 Rule aka Pareto's Law, and apply it to your life, we find this: a small number of beliefs and their resulting decisions turn into the majority of what you experience in life.

The purpose of thinking is to stop thinking. The vast majority of our decisions are made on autopilot, drawing on what we've done before, consistency, identity. The maintenance of identity is key, whether you're conscious of this or not.

money tolerance, dollar, eye, bill

Photo by Vladislav Reshetnyak from Pexels

The Consistency of Money Tolerance

Money Tolerance is a two-parter. It's a limiting belief to imagine as two goalposts: one lower, and one upper. The upper limit is easy to spot, at least when we're being truthful with ourselves (and we often are not). This is the number at which you start saying, "That's a lot of money".

This is a game we play. We play it first with ourselves, then with others.

You see, that number is a BS story. It's nonsense. One number isn't any bigger than another: compare your number to infinity. It's all a game. Why this number and not another? You probably heard your parents say it. "This washing machine is a lot of money." OK, $500 or $1000 gets locked into your mind as "a lot of money".

But it's not the same number for other people, and this is where many folks get stuck in the game they're playing.

"This car is a lot of money," Dad said about the Mercedes station wagon priced at $87,500 because he wanted the nice trim package. So for you, $1000 is peanuts; "a lot of money" starts at $80,000.

How This Key Limiting Belief Affects Your Sales Conversations

Different people are walking around with different money tolerance levels... but they don't know it.

So as a prospective customer, you can bump into somebody who has an extremely different belief in what the cost and value of what you offer as a business owner or salesperson represents.

If you grew up being imprinted upon that "$80,000 is a lot of money", but this prospect in front of you right now believes that "$500 is a lot of money"... can you predict what's going to happen?

That prospect is going to collapse. They're going to fall into themselves, because their belief doesn't support your price tag, and they're going to leave. They literally cannot stand being around the mere idea.

Take this in.

You can also use Money Tolerance as a qualifying tool: I certainly do.

I've explained for years how you choose your customers.

One of the levers you've got available to work with here is Money Tolerance. What if you were to use it to set a bar? So that only those people who already believed—were playing the game that the money number level of where you believe value begins is what they already agree with—were allowed past the velvet rope?

What if you only let people with a pricing-value belief matching your own see the offer?

A big part of positioning works this way. Consider Mercedes again. They're happy to give away whatever info is on their website to whoever wants to look: they know the vast majority of visitors are dreamers who will never qualify to buy. Only those who come into the dealership, and pass the test of answering some qualifying questions correctly, will get the chance to receive an offer to buy. Remember, those are the prospects who can stand there and participate with the idea of this investment as not being "too much money".

How can you take this concept to your own business and apply it?

>> Jason Kanigan is a business strategist and coach. If you're ready to book a session with Jason, click here <<