A new generation of salespeople is currently developing themselves to Sell with the Buyer’s Perspective. They are letting go of their traditional sales process and are connecting differently with their customers and prospects. These early adopters do everything they can to unlearn what they knew well and subsequently embrace new approaches, new ideas, mindsets and attitudes. Are they all perceived by their customers as Trusted Advisors – which is ultimately their end goal? Maybe not yet, but for sure, they have figured out what works and what doesn’t to get potential buyers to think about changing, making changes and committing to suggested solutions.
So, what does this new generation of salespeople do so well? As mentioned, they have stopped doing things that were traditionally habitual and were trained on for the last two decades. Then they adopted their way of selling to the way Buyers are buying; They Sell with the Buyer’s Perspective. Where are you in the process of becoming a Sales Person your Buyers are looking forward to meeting with? Below is a list of habits, attitudes and mindsets that Trusted Advisors must possess. Conduct the below self-test to see what areas you need to improve on. Answer the statements on how you currently sell in reality, not on how you wish to sell. The more candid you are, the more you will get out of this exercise.
1=Never True; 2=Rarely True; 3=Sometimes True; 4= Mostly True; 5=Always True
|1||In conversations with customers, I am focused on making a sale and closing the deal.|
|2||In my preparation, I focus on learning about the customer’s business challenges, industry trends, economic pressures and how I can help mitigate risk and capture opportunities.|
|3||On a regular basis, I check in with the customer, asking if they need something right now or if something has changed or if they have time to meet with me.|
|4||To discover what the customer needs I lead the conversation by asking many situational questions|
|5||To close deals I focus on finding and speaking to the decision-maker as soon as possible|
|6||During conversations with prospects, I often focus on finding pain points and dissatisfaction with the incumbent competitor. Then I can link these needs to the solution I sell.|
|7||To influence the customer to make a change, I often lead with ‘competitor battle cards’ (to differentiate from the main competitor)|
|8||In conversations with customers and prospects, my focus is on how I can contribute to new growth and better profits for the customer.|
|9||In my preparation, I focus on learning what the customer does as a business. Often that is enough for me to start the meeting.|
|10||To get an appointment I share valuable information that justifies the stakeholders’ time to meet with me. I have an agenda worthwhile I share before the meeting|
|11||To get an insight across to my stakeholders I often share a story|
|12||I often lead meetings with who we are and the products, services and solutions I sell.|
|13||Depending on where stakeholders are in their buying process, I share relevant insights and help them with identifying reasons to change from their current situation.|
|14||More often than not, to differentiate from the competitors I need to sell on price.|
|15||My conversations with customers are a lot on how we can do things different operationally|
|16||My real competitor is within the customer’s organization.|
|17||I often meet only with one or two stakeholders before I prepare a proposal.|
|18||When discussing a proposal I talk mainly about features, advantages and benefits and why we are different from the competitor|
|19||In each stage of the buying process, I know what I would like the stakeholder to discover, how to go about that and what commitments I would like to hear from them.|
|20||In my meetings with the customer’s middle and senior managers, I share ideas and insights on how the customer can advance strategically over their competitors.|
|21||I often share with my prospects that sticking with their status quo will not deliver the results they are looking for.|
|22||I meet with multiple stakeholders to understand where they are in the buying process and how I can influence their perspectives.|
|23||My sales acumen drives the majority of the meetings I have with customers about change.|
|24||I never sell on price. I know that gaining consensus is the new closing.|
|25||My business acumen drives the majority of the meetings I have with customers about change|
In next week’s post, I will share with you how to read your self-test score. No doubt this will help you with identifying your gaps to Sell with the Buyer’s Perspective. Then you can figure out what you need to change and make a plan to improve.
To Sales Managers: Ask your sales team to do the test with the motivation that you will help them and coach them to become that Trusted advisor and sell with the Buyer’s Perspective.