Robert A. Heiniein said “Learning isn’t a means to an end; it is an end itself”. Often in life and in business we focus our attention on the experiences and challenges we face. The journey becomes our focus often losing sight of the end goal.

I recently decided to take up singing lessons after many years of procrastinating and a strong desire to pursue this. It was during my second lesson as I was being coached through my breathing and vocal exercises that it hit me, I imagined what it would be like to sing in front of my friends and family. The thought of that excited me. Many of them would be surprised because even though over the years there has been the occasional comment, “hmm, Mort you have a nice voice, or don’t give up the day job,” I have never expressed a desire to get coaching.

Back to my epiphany, while doing the exercises, the thought occurred to me that this is also a relevant concept in business. A customers buys the end – how they will feel when their re-brand is complete, or their website, brochure or new marketing initiative makes them look exactly as they had envisioned. How they will feel when you have saved them from being prosecuted for breaking health and safety regulations; how they will feel when they can confidently submit proposals that actually have a chance of winning the business.

What and how you will do this is not as important to your client as that sense of relief and excitement of finally achieving that goal.

If you run a catering business, they buy the comments about the food, seeing it fantastically laid out and everyone tasting and enjoying it. If you are a photographer, they are buying the memories of that special moment, maybe a wedding or a milestone celebration, and feeling happy that the pictures really reflect that. The type of lenses you use or how long it takes to edit the video or photograph is of least importance. They do not buy the journey. While they are there having the prospective conversation with you, believe you me they are thinking gosh, I will finally be able to speak confidently about what I offer and stand in my value.

So, how do you do that exactly? How do you keep that at the forefront of your mind when you are sitting in front of a customer selling your services; or with an existing client and want to review your fees or change how you deliver your service?

I’d like to suggest that the first way of doing this is asking the right questions and by giving examples of client’s you have worked with successfully in the past. Provide evidence of your impact. Engage them with questions like – imagine you achieved the results in exactly the way you want it, what will that do for you? What will you be able to do that you cannot do now? What would it be like to close sales more confidently, communicate with your customers easily using this new CRM system; or be able to use Facebook effectively to market your services? What would it be like wear that new dress or swim suit on the beach?

Listen to their answer as that is what you need to keep them focused on. And if and when they start to question the value of your work, bring them back to the purpose of it all in the first place.

Another way is to create packaged offers which often bring about less resistance. Packaging your services succinctly and clearly helps to move you one step closer to fulfilling their needs. It can increase your confidence about what your offer and also your profits. It is not talking incessantly about how and what you will do, but getting to the heart of how much better off they will be after your intervention.

Sad to say, I am not going to be Luther or Nat King Cole any time soon, but the absolute joy of imagining singing a duet with my daughter or sister, and to have my friends and family witness it is what I am buying every time the coach says breathe in, breathe out and let’s do those scales one more time. Remember, as much as they may know, like and trust you they are buying the end.