Focus on Change: Why Now

In my last post we discussed about the question of Why Change and how to prepare clients for meaningful change through discovery.

The second part of this equation comes down to the question of ‘Why Now?’

A good salesperson can qualify the need and pain and even awaken a client epiphany for the need to change the status quo, but the larger barrier to ‘why change’ is WHY NOW?

We all have things in our lives, business structure, etc… that we would enjoy the opportunity to change. We like the art of the possible, but we also recognize the trenches of the realistic. We may be sold on change, but we aren’t quick ready to move towards that change right now.

This is a huge obstacle in tech sales. The DMS can align on the need to restructure and build a path towards change, but the idea of having to overhaul or even tweak minor revenue generating operations (especially transactional, CRM, operational software) and internal processes is a big gap.

The question is no longer why should we change to – why should we expedit that change and act on transformation right now – when it would be easier on paper to lean into change in the future.

While the ‘unkown’ future state is a fear point in ‘why change’ – it morphs into the not yet reached promised land when you are in the ‘why now’ stage.

“We’ve been in this desert thirty-nine years – why rush into this change. Let’s plan out the change so we can move into that perfect future state on year forty.”

I jest a bit with wandering in the desert for forty years – but don’t we often cling to the excitement of future goals, but don’t want to tackle the weeds and hard work to get to that future state now. We’d rather just get a little muddy with what we know.

To be fair there is a truth to this – it is important to plan and really rise to meet your business objectives and change motions with strategy and focus. The problem is that many important initiatives that can be implemented now are kicked down the road based on the idea of ‘change is good, but not right now.’

This objection is typically backed up by partner objections such as:

  • We need to wait for Q4 budget
  • We don’t have the bandwidth for a project his size now
  • It is a nice to have, but we can continue to get through the next few months without your solution, but longterm as we grow we’ll call you…
  • You get my drift.

And many of these statements seem reasonable, but you need to dig deeper and hold clients accountable.

  1. Work with your client to figure out what a realistic timeline is. See what barriers they have to entry right now and analyze are the barriers real obstacles to change right now – or can you help adjust their timeline so they can start working towards their business goals sooner.
  2. This is about the client and – WHY NOW has to be tied to a compelling event. The compelling event is often unknown to the buyer because they are used to the status quo and therefore don’t see the need to change right this second. Even after acknowledging the desire to change – you need to use your arsenal of information from discovery to empower your client to change right now:
    1. What is the cost of doing nothing? If they maintain the current status quo six months how is that impacting their business – what is the cost? How can you provide the ROI to make this a priority

As a consultant – you want to guide the client to an understanding of the gap and how you can help solve it in a way that provides a value and ROI that proves a sense of urgency.

A sense of urgency often can be tied to cost savings, but this is not always the case

You need to listen and think creatively about what motivates the business, buyers, champions and how delay obstructs that success.

Why Now in many ways is the heart of every objection. Sometimes it is simple as ‘we don’t have budget until Q4’ but othertimes it is a coverup for another objection.

Value your customer and their business objectives enough to help them navigate change and take action tied to the appropriate timeline. While we want a quarter end close for a deal – we won’t win longterm client relationships (recurring revenue/rapport) if we simply push for Why Now by throwing discounts at a client with pressure tactics.

Instead focus on the value and the impact your product can make in your client’s organization right now.

Your product: Compelling events need to provide a justifable value to the customer. They also need to be poered by the unique benefits your product/service brings to the table.

Why Change and Why Now are answered by how your product solves their business problems and objectives on a logical and emotional level.

Remember that you need to show the value of ‘Why (Your Product)’ and how it differentiates from the status quo/competition in order to overcome the ‘Why Now’ objection.

Would love your thoughts and ideas here! Why Change? Why Now?

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