- In 1965, 60% of the adult population smoked cigarettes. The latest statistics of 2020 shows this percentage has dropped to only 15%.
- The number of gym memberships in USA has in the last 20 years doubled to 61 million
- Since the 1950’s the percentage of women in the workforce has more than tripled
- In 2019, the proportion of women in senior management roles globally grew to 29%, the highest number ever recorded
What is the point of sharing these statistics with you? What do they have to do with selling, or better – with the way of selling? Well, the commonality is that people evolve. They change. Not everyone. But trends are adopted and slowly becoming a new habit. And the followers, one by one, change because they understand why they need to change. They agree that old habits, approaches or believes do not work any longer or can even be harmful. The new ways become trendy. A wave of awareness, acceptance and adoption make the new way of doing things the new normal.
In selling, we are going through such an evolution right now. In twenty years from now, people will look back and say: “In the 2020s, the majority of salespeople were still solution sellers’. If you are still selling like discovering customers’ needs and selling them “solutions”, then maybe you want to be a frontrunner, an early adopter, a trendsetter of the new way of selling. And the reason for you wanting to do that is because you understand why you need to change.
- You are fully aware that customers do not need you the way they used to. They have grown up into sophisticated problem analysts and are armed with a stockpile of data to readily define solutions for themselves.
- You have experienced multiple times that by the time you rock up to a prospect meeting, you realized they already completed nearly 60% of the purchasing decision. They have done the work that you – in the old way of selling – used to do.
- You have also figured out that although you received clear buying-signals from your customer contacts, more often than not opportunities stall. And the reasons is – the buying room became bigger, the number of stakeholders in that buying room exploded. They all have an opinon about change or not to change, and everyone want to be heard.
- You have been reading the faces of your prospects well. They get bored with your questions and your digging for pain-points and dissatisfaction.
You now realise that aligning a solution with an acknowledged customer need and demonstrating why it is better than the competition does not work any longer. Customers expect a different experience when in a sales conversation. When they invite you to a meeting, or they confirmed to meet with you at your request, they hope:
- You tell them something they do not know and is relevant to their challenges
- The conversation is a business conversation about their new growth opportunities, chosen strategies, competitveness, increasing market share and achieving profits
- They will hear stories about companies with similar challenges and what approaches helped them to be more successful
If this all sounds like you, then I congratulate you. You understand why you need to change. You are ready for this very important decision in your sales career: you will do everything that needs to be done to adapt to the new way of selling – selling with the buyer’s perspective. Now keep going, read, listen, be open to coaching and adapt to thrive.
And for Sales leaders, help your team understand why they need to change. It is the most important step towards the new way of selling. Once the Why? – question is answered, the rest will follow as it has always done in the history of human evolution.
Thank you for your Linkedin Likes. Feel free to share with your network.