It takes a lot to get the attention of a prospect—an average of eight calls, according to one recent study. So once you have the attention of a prospect, you want to be as concise and convincing as possible in order to provide a solution to their problem and close the sale.

In this issue of Promotional Consultant Today, we share a tactic for turning prospects into clients from sales expert Richard Woodward—a tactic known as evidence.

According to Woodward, evidence is important because:

  • It builds the prospect's trust in you, which is important because people buy trust first and products and services second.
  • It gives the prospect the required confidence to make the decision to move ahead with you.
  • It differentiates you from the organizations that make unsubstantiated claims about themselves. Take a look at any industry and notice how many organizations describe themselves as "industry leaders".

Types of evidence you can use in your proposals or presentations include:

  • Testimonials that describe not only the experience of working with you but more importantly the results that were obtained working with you. Quantify the results where possible. The key with testimonials is not to wait for them to come to you. Ask for them.
  • Case studies that talk in detail about the challenges and needs a particular client or sponsor had, outline the solution that you provided and the results that were obtained.

How to use evidence: The evidence you share must be relevant to the specific problems that your prospect faces. In your proposal or presentation, address each of your prospect's challenges and needs in turn, outline your solution for each and then provide the relevant evidence to back up each solution.

Evidence can also be used at the start of a presentation to whet a prospect's appetite for solutions. For example: "This is the outcome that ABC Corporation obtained, I am now going to show you how your organization can achieve a similar outcome."

Start collecting your evidence today and make it count to close more sales.

Source: Richard Woodward is a business development strategist, trainer, speaker and author who has worked with leading organizations since 2004 to help them gain new business. His clients range from major corporate and sales management executives to leading organizations in the worlds of arts, sports, charities and events.