Impact isn't an emotion, it's an outcome

Impact is not an emotion.

It’s a quantifiable outcome.

Based on some posts I’ve recently read on LinkedIn there seems to be some confusion about this.

Let’s keep it simple.

First, for every prospect the decision to acquire and use your product represents a change of some magnitude in their business.

When you ask them about the impact of the change that using your product represents, you are not asking them how that change will make them feel on a personal level. (It is useful to know this too, but there’s a better way to ask that question. That’s another post.)

Instead, you need to ask the prospect to quantify the impact of this change, in monetary terms, on the area of their business that is most relevant to them.

Think of the ways your product will have an impact on the buyer’s business (increased market share, decreased costs, increased ARR, improved margins, increased productivity or increase in profitability, etc.)

This change has to be quantifiable in monetary terms (dollars, etc.) Otherwise, how can the purchase be financially justified to the ultimate decision-makers? Very few buyers, if any, will make a decision without knowing the answer to this.

Second, you rely on internal champions to build the case for your solution. However, your champions cannot be effective advocates for you and your solution if they can’t quantify the impact of your solution in a way that aligns with the priorities of the organization.

They often need your help to do this.

This is one reason why top performers ask impact questions early in their conversations with prospects.

Asking various stakeholders to quantify the impact of a change is a powerful way to help them think more clearly and precisely about the decision you are helping them to make.

Third, if stakeholders are unable to quantify the impact from using your product then that should raise some red flags for you.

In general, this means that buyer has unanswered questions and lacks a firm understanding of your solution (because prospects aren’t going to invest their time to finalize their payback calculations until they’re first convinced that your product is a viable option to achieve their desired outcomes.)

Asking impact questions that focus on quantifying outcomes, helps both you and the buyer understand what additional information they need from you to move forward with their evaluation and decision-making.

Lastly, impact questions are also an important tool to continually qualify your prospect as they make progress through their process. It’s a measure of their engagement and commitment (and lack thereof.)

If you’re well down the funnel and your prospect is still unable to quantify the financial impact of the change, then they probably aren’t a serious prospect. And the probability of winning the deal is not great.

Impact questions are just one of six types of questions that you need to become proficient at asking in order to help your buyers navigate their decision making process.

All six question types are spelled out in detail in my best-selling book: Sell Without Selling Out.