The Cost of No Change

We have all experienced a situation where a potential client refused to purchase our product or service because they were happy with the status quo and afraid of change. Basically, their fear of change outweighed any concerns and frustrations that they were experiencing with their current way of doing business.

Until we are able to convince the client that what we offer can add more value than pain, we will typically have a hard time selling anything.

I ran into a great example of this about five years ago when I bought a Bluetooth keyboard for my iPad.

I had been using my iPad for doing a lot of writing while traveling on business. The iPad was light, very convenient to pack and perfect for doing some simple document editing or article writing. When I bought the iPad, one of the sales people was trying to upsell and get me to buy a wireless keyboard. At that point I saw this as simply an upsell attempt. I had not experienced any of the pain of trying to scroll and type on a small screen.

However, it became obvious quite quickly that it was quite unproductive to type on the screen.

Enter the $100 Logitech wireless keyboard!

By the time I bought the keyboard, I was frustrated enough to have paid three times the $100 value! The keyboard removed frustration and inefficiencies and made me much more productive and focused on the work at hand.

Your customer will only buy from you if their perceived value of what you are selling outweighs the cost of your product.

That simple sentence is packed with profound implications!

People only buy something when they need it or want it more than the money it costs to buy it.

The Cost of No Change

In his book, “Lead, Sell, or Get Out of the Way,” Ron Karr captures this economic concept in the formula shown below:

CNC-CC=PV where:

  • CNC = cost of no change – this is the customer maintaining status quo and not buying your product
  • CC = cost of change – this is the cost of your product or service
  • PV = perceived value

So basically, your customers will only buy from you if the cost of them continuing in their current state is greater than what you are selling.

How Can You Assess This?

Karr teaches the sales professional to carefully assess the potential client’s position. This involves asking and answering questions like:

  1. What will it cost the client to continue as they are and not purchase your product or service? Ask questions to draw this information out and then present it clearly back to the client so they know the cost of not changing.
  2. What does the purchase of your product or service cost? Be super clear on this. Explain all the costs so the client has an accurate picture without any surprises.
  3. What value are you delivering to the client that will allow them to save money, make money, reduce pain, stress, inefficiencies, etc.? This is where your product or service can really shine. Essentially, you are highlighting the Perceived Value that your product or service provides.

When the answers to these questions are clearly understood, you must present them back to the client in a compelling way. Highlight to them the extreme value they are going to receive by purchasing your product or service. This differentiates you from everyone else who is just selling their widget and not trying to understand the customer’s real needs. When the customer can only see widgets and widget pricing then you and your widgets have become a commodity.

Avoid Becoming A Commodity!

Don’t fail to differentiate yourself and become a just another commodity.

Understand and articulate the cost of no change versus the cost of change for every customer!

For more ideas on differentiation and providing value review 8 Easy Ways to Uncover Your Customers Needs and Are Your Customers in Pain?.

You create a customer by convincing him overwhelmingly that you are the lowest-risk, highest-value, easiest person and company to do business with.” Brian Tracy

What is your experience with selling your product or service? How were you able to show your client the perceived value? Leave your feedback below.

Download a free copy of my new Ebook: 12 Steps to Business Transformation. If you would like a business assessment to help kick off your business transformation, contact me at or at 587-227-5179.

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