The best way to win new business   by Jane Francis

In order to make a sale your customer needs to believe you are the person with the product or service who will solve their problem. They need to get to the point where they trust that you will make things better for them.

Just because you know all about your products and services, your client will not. There may be huge gaps in their understanding of what you do and how long it takes. They may be ignorant of the knowledge and skill required to do what you do and what's more: they do not know what they do not know. They may not see the value in what you provide so it is your job to educate them.

Can you demonstrate your product? How many of the senses can you involve? Can you prove your cost-effectiveness? Do you have a graph to show savings? What about case studies, before and after pictures, or testimonials from happy customers?

Teachers of fiction writers repeatedly tell their students: 'Show, don't tell'. In other words, don't tell the reader the soldier went to war and felt miserable. Show the reader his misery - the rats in the trench, the incessant rain, his cold hands against the steely bayonet and the mud that made the flesh around his finger nails rot like ... you get the picture!

Show your clients the advantages of your product or service.
Show them what it means to them - how it will save them time, make them more money, make them thinner, younger, more gorgeous.

For example, if you are selling tax advice show your customer a testimonial from a happy client that saved $5,000 in taxes last year after spending just $400 with you.

Imagine you're selling a pre-cracked fresh egg mix to a meringue company; work out the savings in breakages, transportation and packing costs of a liquid delivered in a bucket rather than eggs in cartons. Work out the labour savings in egg-cracking time and add up all these savings in a week, a month or a year. Now show your client a picture of the increase in meringue sales and a graph of the extra profits, and how one cent more per meringue converts to $100,000 in extra sales per annum. Whip up a batch of fresh meringues and let them taste the difference.

The best way to win new business is show - not tell - your customer how much of a difference your product or service will make to them.

About the Author

©Jane Francis is the author of 'Price Yourself Right: A guide to charging what you are worth' [ISBN 0-595-38601-6] which is available at Barnes & Noble (US), WH Smith (UK) and at You can read more at her blog: