I touched on this idea last week, but it is too important to let go.
Your dream clients believe that you and your company are the same as your competitors. They believe the fairy tales that some competitors tell, the one where none of the dream client’s constraints are what is preventing them from achieving their desired results, that it is instead their choice of partner that is holding them back.
Until your dream client has enough time and experience, they aren’t easily swayed by your honest assessment of their constraints and the true cost of achieving results.
Third Time Lucky
Fool me once shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. Would that it were true. Sometimes it takes more than being fooled twice. It is easy to want to believe that changing partners will produce better results.
First, believing that a new partner will produce greater results despite their constraints means that no real change is necessary on the part of your dream client: they simply change partners in hopes that the new partner makes the difference.
Second, there is no financial cost. In fact, they have potential partners beating down their doors offering to improve their results and reduce their costs. It’s easy to want to believe this can be true.
But at some point, the failure to achieve the results that they need starts to cost your dream client. It may be financial costs, or it may be more personal costs, like reputation damage or lost opportunities.
When the cost is finally high enough, your dream client is ready for honesty.
Shame On Me
At some point, maybe it is the third time, maybe it’s the ninth, your dream client gets tired of believing that they can achieve greater results at a far lower cost, and they make the flight to quality.
At some point, they become more interested in hearing the truth. They leave behind a decision based on cost and the falsehood that “highest quality, lowest price, and fastest delivery” is possible—if only they would switch providers.
Selling with honesty and integrity requires that you take a longer view. You have to tell the truth, and then you have to tell the truth again and again, even when your dream client isn’t ready to accept that the result they need won’t be obtained by changing horses—and especially by changing to some cheap show horse.
Why is it easy to want to believe that you can have better and cheaper by switching to another partner or provider, even though all of our experience tells us this is not true?
How many times do your dream clients try switching only to obtain the same or lesser result by having not invested in the right partner with the right solution?
What are the events or circumstances that cause your dream clients to desire the truth and an honest partner?
How do you position yourself and your offering as your dream client goes through what is sometimes a long cycle of trying different providers? What do you do to compress that cycle?