The 3 M’s: Getting Buyers to Change

It seems ridiculous to think that change from a typewriter to a computer was anything but a “no brainer”. It wasn’t. In fact, there are still published authors, John Irving to name one, that write entire novels in long hand or on typewriters. Without the vision of how a change will provide benefits, very little may occur.

Getting a prospect to adopt your product or service and make a fundamental change in how they do business is hard, yet sometimes necessary. The best way I know to get a prospect from no to “Yes, I’ll consider making a change”, is mastering the 3 M’s of establishing value. If they can’t see any value or in other words a compelling reason to make a change, then they will stay firmly in the no column.

  1. Measurement. –  find out how the buyer measures value.  What we want to measure is something that gets a number in dollars. The best numbers are not based on opinion or conjecture. Asking questions helps determine what numbers the buyer values most.  With medical devices, value dollars are measured by recovery times and reimbursements;   with fleet management it’s fuel efficiency and driver safety, and in the food business it’s waste and storage costs.  These are all costs, costs that you can help them reduce with your product. How much can you help to reduce their costs?  This is establishing value with monetary results.   Dollar savings is a powerful value illustrator.
  2. Mechanism – What’s the mechanism you use to calculate the value?  In the food industry it’s cost to store food per square foot, in fleet management it’s miles per gallon.  Does your client have one?  If not, co-create it.  To have an effective mechanism the prospect needs to agree on the way the value is measured.
  3. Meaning – How do you analyze the data you created or co created with the buyer in step 2?  These numbers should be analyzed to improve the bottom line.  For example, a driver in a truck’s fleet reduces the average driving speed from 65 to 64 miles per hour; the driver will realize $100 savings from increased fuel efficiency per month, thereby, saving $1200 per year per vehicle in fuel. That alone has meaning to the buyer.  To provide greater meaning and more value as a sales partner, the seller should also provide context.  Give them context as to what you’ve seen in your industry or with other clients.  This is what context sounds like, “Mr. Buyer the other companies in your industry that has adopted this fuel efficiency strategy, and they realized on average a savings of $ 1200 per year per vehicle.”

The 3 M’s are measurement, the mechanism by which value is measured and meaning (dollars) to the measurement.  When value is established, the risk of changing is diminished.  If there is still hesitancy, start again at step one because you never found out the measurement that the buyer valued most.  We help clients frame the conversation with their buyers to include value in their conversations.   These tools, if used properly, will help buyers change from their old ways to your new ways.

Let Flannery Sales Systems help your sales staff sharpen their skills in establishing value.