The seven words contained in the title of this post may very well save your life. Well, perhaps not, it just may feel like it.
Those words, uttered in many a selling situation, can keep you from promising something you can’t deliver, cutting your prices on demand, or bending and twisting your ability to deliver results to the point where folks in your organization no longer recognize the engagement you committed to.
To be fair, it’s not just the words, it’s actually having processes you follow so you can deliver the best possible results. Every small business is constrained by its ability to deliver the goods with limited resources. The absolute best way to do that is to get very good at a set of proven processes and then stick to them as though your life depended upon it. This goes for your selling process, contracting process, engagement process, manufacturing process, delivery process, service process and billing process.
In fact, the first place you might start uttering TIHWDIH is in the lead conversion process. When the prospect starts the sales call off with a round of pointed questions and pronouncements of just what it is they need, stop them and suggest that you have a process for helping them uncover the true cost of not addressing this stated challenge head on and that you would like to engage them in that process. (That’s code for TIHWDIH)
I’m not saying that there is never a time to bend and flex as new opportunities arise, I’m simply saying that without your own stated processes of excellence you will get pushed and shoved more then bended and flexed.
Your willingness to stick with your proven delivery mechanisms will help you avoid taking business that you know you shouldn’t take. Your processes are the filter for identifying ideal customers. (If a prospect won’t sit still for your needs analysis, that might be a red flag.) Your processes will ensure that everyone in the organization is delivering the same message, experience and brand. Remember this, a seemingly great opportunity that pushes you outside of your proven processes often costs far more to deliver and may even cause you to take you eye off of serving your core ideal customer.
Lastly, I’ve found that demonstrating you actually have proven processes can be very alluring to prospects. Too many small businesses pitching their wares these days are making promises right and left, but falling down when it actually comes to delivering on those promises. Your “10-step needs discovery process” will automatically set you apart from the pack and likely lead to the ability to raise your prices.
Hang a banner with TIHWDIH emblazoned for all to see and then repeat this mantra at every turn.