Or so I keep hearing.
Over twenty five years ago, my daughter Tayla was born. She is one of the best things that has ever happened to us, that was change. And I loved that change.
A couple of years before that, my wife Peggy and I got married. That was a change. And we
...loved that (most of the time… ;)
More recently, in the last month, I started working with four new customers. That’s a change. And I loved that too.
So, I think “change” can be a good thing…
…if the BENEFITS are clear
In other words, people need to have a GOOD REASON WHY and SOME PROOF that it will work, those TWO things will help them with the reason WHY they should change what they are doing now!!
When you’re ’SELLING CHANGE’ to others, here’s a great way to do it. It’s a combination of some Harvard research, plus things I found worked brilliantly with our new customers.
There are five steps:
#1 Why it’s Needed
Start by explaining the key drivers for change.
In other words, why change is better than staying as you are. This will be one of, or both of:
- the problem with the way things are now and/or
- an opportunity to take advantage for the future
And, as you explain these, be crystal clear on how they impact the people you’re speaking to.
Remember: you want people thinking ‘I’ll be better off if we make a change’.
EXAMPLE #1: We are including scissor lifts in our product range because we are missing out on some suspended scaffolding work because it's to expensive for clients and we can’t always hire this equipment when we need it. The scissor lifts now have ground stabilisation hydraulic footings and can be left in place for extended periods which allows us to offer different scaffold building techniques and SAFER and FASTER methods for you our staff. You will get free training in a new technology which will be good for your career as well.
EXAMPLE #2: Currently our info for quotes and jobs is in about 5 or 6 different places. Paper, MS Word, Email, Whiteboard, a couple of spreadsheets , our safety system and the accounting system. This many places for the SAME data is a lot of extra time keeping it all up to date, and often it’s NOT! This is frustrating and time consuming. With Scaflog we have the opportunity to put it into ONE SYSTEM...
#2 The Future Vision
Now, explain what their world will be like after the change. In other words, be clear on the future state they can expect once the change has happened. Again, adapt your messaging so people understand how this future will benefit them personally.
EXAMPLE #1: This roof edge product will enhance our scaffold safety and make it safer for you and the public. This stuff clips on and SAVES you hours on any roof edge project. It is safer and faster and LESS lifting of heavy equipment is required. YOU WON’T be doing the old process of having to build a scaffold first.
EXAMPLE #2: When we install our software, time to deal with stuff starts to magically appear… HOW? Well you aren’t doing everything 3 or 4 times anymore… all that little duplication work is CUT OUT… time starts to reappear … your staff start getting the same picture as the office and your customers seem to magically reduce complaints as they are always up to date… (nb. we don’t completely remove complaining though ;)
#3 How We’ll get you There
The third step is to explain the journey – how we’ll get from the present (#1) to the future (#2). Maybe use a timeline, showing who’s doing what, by when.
EXAMPLE #1: When we roll out the new temp fencing products we will send all the staff who will be erecting this product to training courses. You won’t be asked to do installs unless you have the training. The training will begin in October before our busy period and new projects will increase up till Christmas.
EXAMPLE #2 : After the initial agreement and deposit payment we send you an online checklist of all the tasks. When we follow that process you quickly move from your current way to our Scaflog software and you stop doing all the little annoying tasks that are double ups or just trying to get the right story. The software is very easy to pickup and we help you all the way with lots of Training and Support via Skype calls (Plus videos to go back to and revise at any time.)
#4 How We’ll Overcome your Obstacles
Any change will have obstacles you need to overcome. And, if you don’t pre-empt what they are and how you’ll overcome them, people will worry about them. So, an important topic is ‘here’s what could easily get in the way’, followed by ‘and here’s how we’ll ensure they don’t’.
EXAMPLE #1 : When we are using the Kedar roofing products for clients we may run into the following issues. Here are some issues and the actions to take:
- Clients may think the windage on the product may cause up draft and danger for neighbouring properties. (Answer. Show clients the massive safety systems built into the product and the wind limitations that the product is built for and that we will monitor this each inspection )
- Clients may wonder how weather proof it is (Answer: Rain won’t penetrate the roof, neither will wind so electrical equipment and things like concrete can be left to set under it)
EXAMPLE #2 : When you are installing the Scaflog software solution the following issues may arise.
- Staff may feel unsettled about using new software (fixed with lots of training, videos , Skype calls, support 24x7 and easy to use software)
- It may take a while to get all the data entered (many times we can export spreadsheets from your old systems and we can provide data entry help to speed this whole process up so your staff won’t have to do twice the work while changing over)
- What if there is something missing that I want (we provide a complete ISSUE tracking process and dedicate a software developer to helping each new client come on board)
- It’s a LOT to do all at once (...we breakdown the implementation into easy bite sized steps and check off each stage to ensure your team are happy. We can also rollout one branch at a time or do everyone at once. It's your call)
#5 Our immediate next steps
End by ensuring everyone knows their actions, to take things forward. Two important points:
- Make sure everyone has an action. If someone doesn’t, they can feel the change is happening to them, not with them. So they all must contribute to it in some way
- Remember START and STOP. It’s easy to list loads of actions for people to start doing. But, unless you also specify what parts of their current role they should stop doing, they’ll feel you’re adding work to their already-hectic lives
EXAMPLE: So with Scaflog you start entering quotes directly to the system and YOU STOP doing word documents or using your old system. You start looking up a job by simply searching for it in the software with either the job number, address or a number or other search criteria you can think of on your desktop with a web browser or in the field on your mobile device. YOU STOP searching for paperwork or calling someone to find out the latest thing happening on a job or trying to find out whats happening tomorrow or the rest of the week because you can quickly look it up on your device anytime anywhere.
So, for the next ‘change’ you have to sell…
… Identify the “change” you want people to buy into. Then, ensure your communications contain some/all of these five steps. After all, “change” can be a great thing… if it’s communicated right.
And, if you want more guidance on how to sell change, you can get from one of my good friends ‘Three steps of selling’ videos here I don’t make a dime from recommending Andy but he is WELL WORTH IT!!!