Dealing with Risks Real and Perceived

At the end of the buyer’s process in evaluating change and a potential new partner, they worry about risks.

Some of these risks are real. Some of them are not real but must be treated as if they are.

Real Risks That Prevent Buyers from Saying Yes

The risk that you may fail in delivering the outcome you are selling is real. Even though you don’t believe that it will happen, it is something that may happen. Your dream client has likely had a the experience of a partner failing before, and it isn’t unreasonable for your prospective client to be afraid to make a decision when they are concerned about whether they will get what they bargained for.

The risk that you may sell your dream client your solution and disappear when things get difficult is very real. In fact, it’s likely that some of the contacts within your prospect’s company have been bamboozled in the past, and it is why they express skepticism now. Even if you have no intention of disappearing, the risk is real.

Your prospective client may fear paying too much and that you cannot really justify the delta between your price and your competitors. It doesn’t mean that you cannot justify the delta, it’s the fear that you won’t that gives your prospective client cause for concern. They want to believe you are better, but what if you’re not?

Perceived Risks That Block Deals

Some risks your dream client perceives are not real. But they still require your attention.

Your prospective client may worry that your smaller size is a risk and indicates a potential inability to execute. They may believe your diminutive size is an indication that you don’t have the necessary resources to deliver the outcomes you are promising. Even though it may be more likely that your larger competitor who has grown through acquisitions is straddled with crippling debt requiring the bulk of their profit to pay the interest on their loans, they may perceive bigger as safer.

Some may be concerned that you don’t have experience in their exact industry or vertical. This is a similar mistake we make in hiring, believing experience counts more than anything else, even though it isn’t often true. In just as many cases the principles and values that allow you to serve some clients in one industry well easily translate to clients in a different industry. The fear is still real.

Whether or not the risks are real or perceived, you must treat them as if they are real. Without discussing the issues to help your prospective client resolve their concerns about risk, you are in danger of losing your opportunity.

It isn’t your prospective clients job to resolve their own concerns. That’s what you are there to do.

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Filed under: Resolving Concerns

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