List Theory. Re-ordering your customer's priorities.

By Jeremy Blake on February 24, 2022

I'm going to talk about you for a moment. Let me close my eyes…At the start of this year, yes, it's coming through to me now…! You wanted to book a holiday and hold on, you were looking at changing one of the rooms in your house, I think it might have been paint or it could have been the flooring? You were thinking of changing one of your vehicles too. You wanted to invest in a little refurbishment project, is it a small room, or is that some kind of shed?

So now let me put to you list theory. The theory is this simple.

  1. Everybody has a list of things they want to do at the start of each year.
  2. The list is never definitive, and the order isn’t fixed.
  3. The best people to alter the order of the list are salespeople.

The job of a salesperson selling to a consumer, or a business is to change the order of their list.

How you do this is by helping your customers make comparisons between the projects. Help them consider the outcomes of committing to one service before another. Help them consider who is affected most by the purchase of certain products, machinery or services and therefore what the advantages are to the family or business team?

You do this through asking decent questions and letting them come to their own conclusions with your guidance.

You will never achieve a list re-order with a bold pitch. That’s you telling them what to do, rather than asking them what they want to do.

And here's where the magic happens, when you engage with them and their list and to start ask questions, they see you as a reliable person to work with and somebody who has skills. Well, hey they might as well kick off one of the projects on the list and as you're there with them, it makes sense to get started on the one you can help them with, the one that is your business.

So many people in life have lists and yet often a year goes by without them striking anything off!

They need what Zig Ziglar calls a round tuit “I just need to get a round tuit.” Dear Zig used to sell coin like tokens on his site that you could buy for people who just needed to get their project started!

You can help your customers get on with their list far quicker, by being the questioning intervention that helps them make a decision.

What to do now:

  1. What else is on the list?
  2. Even if it's not a competing product or service, get to know the competitive forces around you.
  3. Find this out through research and also ask questions.
  4. Ask “who else are you considering alongside us?”
  5. Also ask “how far up the list are we on the top five things you want to do this year?”

Finally, why don't you set up a list theory training workshop internally, get everyone excited and make them realise all they have to do is help change the priority order of your customers lists.

Once you get higher up the list, you get more orders in. Let me know how you get on.

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