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Go for tried, tested, trusted

Most people would not need to think too much about buying a lottery or raffle ticker for £1. Raise the ticket price to £100 per ticket and there will be far fewer takers!

The bigger the stakes the less people like to take risks with their money. This does not just apply to gambling but in business too.

A good ‘rule of thumb’ to work with is that the bigger the expenditure, the more cautious people are with their spending decisions. Reluctance towards risk is basic human nature and soft sellers go with human nature and so seek to minimise the perceived risk as best they can.

Generating leads through personal introductions not only make the selling easier but also reduce the perceived risk too because you arrive tried, tested, and trusted. That’s why introductions from trusted contacts are the ones that really matter.

The more you are tried, tested, and trusted by other clients the lower the perceived risk. Testimonials do not really reduce the perceived risk, but being given the opportunity to speak to existing customers does significantly

When selling services, it is normally easier to sell in a small piece of work and then grow it to £100,000 than to sell in £100,000 in one go. The small piece of work allows you to become tried, tested, and trusted and then you become the obvious choice for future projects.

Examples of small pieces of work in consultancy are health checks, reviews, and proof of concepts. I do not advocate free consultancy or doing work at a discount. If you feel you have to resort to that then you have not identified enough pain.

When putting together a proposal, take time to put your customer hat on and anticipate all the perceived risks they may have and look for ways to mitigate the risks for them. If they know you are taking concern for mitigating their risk then they will be more likely to trust you.

Its OK for you to gamble with your own money but in sales it is more effective to assume that your prospects do not take risks.

The accidental salesman networking survival guide