“Limits improve a customer’s expectation of what a product or service does and doesn’t do.” – Anthony Coundouris in today’s Tip 666
Do you naming limits?
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Scott Ingram: You’re listening to the Daily Sales Tips podcast and I’m your host, Scott Ingram. Today’s tip comes from Anthony Coundouris. Anthony has a decade of experience consulting with technology and SAAS startups. He specializes in designing automated sales and marketing systems and is the author of the book run_frictionless. Here he is:
Anthony Coundouris: Thanks, Scott, for having me on the show. In today’s Daily Sales Tip, I’d like to teach why it is beneficial to name limits.
If you guessed I’m an Australian, you guessed right. Fun fact about Australians. 80% of us live on the east coast with the remaining 10% on the west coast. I’m an east coast fella.
Here’s the definition of naming limits
When you are creating a sales process, a customer learns as much from the list of functions as they do from the list of limits. Limits improve a customer’s expectation of what a product or service does and doesn’t do. The boundaries of expectations are defined by both.
Here’s why you want to start naming limits
Have you ever visited a restaurant, been seated, had your order taken, dined on some tasty food, and then been told your credit card is not accepted when trying to pay the bill? If you had this experience, it is likely the restaurant didn’t make limits known in the early game.
When salespeople disguise a limit in the early game and reveal the limit in the endgame, they destroy any trust built with the customer. Think of the early, middle, and endgame as three stages of your sales process.
I consult to many SaaS companies serving business customers. A common problem they have is when a customer buys their software, the customer experiences a long on-boarding process.
Let’s address this friction-point by telling the customer automated onboarding is not available today. However, you have three work-arounds.
Work-around one. Use Excel to perform a few tasks manually. While your application can shoulder the majority of the workload, a this-party desktop application handles 5% of operations.
Work-around two. Sign up to a partner application via an API. Rather than your organization shouldering the burden of every feature request, you draw on third party applications with a cloud-ecosystem. <
Work-around three. You offer to handle onboarding manually for your customer, free. You free the customer of the friction by setting up an offshore team who handle repetitive, manually-intensive tasks.
In all three examples we name limits and work-arounds. Every organization has product limits. Even Google with a market cap of US$1BN name product limits. The difference is whether you choose to name limits in the early game or bury them.
Let’s sum up
If you followed my advice and named limits in the early game, you made a good call. Here’s why.
Firstly, you instilled confidence in your prospect. Prospects respected your honesty because you fearlessly tabled the limit and confidently sold in several work-arounds.
Secondly, you made more money. While your competitors wasted time disguising limits and adding friction to the endgame, you tabled limits in the early game, and created a frictionless transaction in the endgame.
Lastly, you opened the door for your salespeople to upsell. Because you chose to name limits, upselling was frictionless for the salespeople and the customer. They both had expectations an upgrade would occur sometime in the future.
Scott Ingram: For more about Anthony and run_frictionless, we’ll have links for you at DailySales.Tips/666. Even if you have to say the devil made you do it, be sure to click over there and check out Anthony’s stuff right now.
Then be sure to come back tomorrow for another great sales tip. Thanks for listening!