Taking the Path Least Trodden

31 May, 2014

I had a lovely lunch the other day with a franchise owner, who kindly let me ask lots of probing questions about why they were not doing everything they needed to do to convert a batch of prospects. When challenged like this, people normally take one of two paths. They either give a load of excuses such as “they don’t really use us”, “they will let me know”, “they are going to order one day” and basically a whole raft of external reasons. This is THE common position for most sales people, business owners or indeed anyone trying to get someone else to do something they want. This path is well trodden, and studded with pot holes.
Or they take the other, much less trodden path and say “Well…I clearly haven’t provided a strong and clear reason for them to choose me over the competition”. In essence, they take responsibility. You will almost never need to have a challenging conversation with these people as they are already engaged in creating that new proposition and working on converting their next batch of prospects.
What is the difference between the two paths? Well, the first one is reactive, mindless, pointless and painful and will result in slow growth at best. The second one has hit the nail on the head: every prospect has a ‘price’, a set of circumstance or conditions that will lead them to choose you over and above the competition. The skill comes with finding what that price is and paying it! Taking this path is proactive, mindful, purposeful and will result in rapid growth.
When you or I get to that crossroads of non-conversion the easiest thing to do is take the well trodden pot holed path. Indeed, the path itself gives us even more excuses for customers not converting! But if you want to be one of the exceptional ones, take the path of responsibility, find the right price and pay it.