The 3% Rule

Chances are your customers have 97% of the things they need in their world to get their mission accomplished, to get their dangers overcome, their opportunities achieved, and their strengths deepened. Your job is to help them by assembling your creativity and your skills reinforced by your products and services and get them to simplify their thinking, and achieve their goals. You provide the last 3% to accomplish everything that is necessary in the form of leadership, relationship, and platform for creativity. That is the 3% Rule.

The Proposal

To start, ask about your customer’s DOS (Dangers, Opportunities and Strengths). Understand it. Truly listen to what they say because it benefits you in the proposal creation because you only have to focus on two to three or four things that really matter to them. I have seen many sales people and many business people go on and on about what they do and how they are great and they do not take the time to understand the context of what makes the customer’s world go around instead of focusing on what the customer needs.

The next thing you want to do is repeat that DOS. Actually create a narrative from what the customer said to you. When you repeat it to them, they feel listened to and they feel a sense of engagement with you.

For example, if you are in a restaurant environment, you can do this in ten seconds by asking the customer to give a framework for what kind of experience they are looking for from the restaurant experience. You can find out very quickly if they want to be bothered a lot, if they want lots of stuff, if they are very hungry, if they’re in a rush, or other things that will allow you to be able to not have to guess what they’re looking for in their experience with you. And you can train your staff to do this and anybody that you have working for you.

If the customer feels listened to and engaged, they will be loyal.

The next thing is: are they the right customer for you? For example, if you run a high quality, high priced restaurant, and a customer comes in and wants to have the lobster dish, but can not afford it, they are not the right customer. If a person does not have the money to be able to pay you for your service, it is not possible to continue doing business with them.

You want to match your customer’s DOS, to make sure that your organizational skills sets and talents match and align with your customer. Then you cater to it. You design your proposals around it. You make sure that you are not giving too much information, but you are really focusing on the things that they have told you they want, and then you execute the plan.

When customer’s get weird, and start backpedaling and doing other things, that is when you can remind them of the things they said that were important. If it has changed and they are not important anymore, it creates an opportunity to become flexible and change what you are doing and continue communicating.

Finally, rinse and repeat for wealth. Engaging that DOS, understanding it, repeating it, matching it and then catering to it allows you to be able to create that relationship that none of your competitors are doing.

Author's Bio: 

Hugh Stewart was born in St. Andrew, Jamaica and at the age of twelve came to the United States with his family. His education is both diverse and substantial. He has two degrees from the University of Miami; an undergraduate and a graduate degree in Mechanical Engineering. He is also a graduate of the Strategic Coach® program and is currently enrolled in the Strategic Coach® Masters Program.

Business experience
Hugh currently serves as a Major in the United States Air Force Auxiliary with a specialization in cadet programs. Between 1995-2009, he was responsible for training five nationally recognized cadet competition teams.

Hugh has a diverse and successful business background; not only is he a Nuclear Fuel Designer, but he has created and operated over seventeen businesses in the past 10 years in industries such as money services, real estate, advertising, insurance consulting, and coaching.