Loyal readers of this blog are transforming themselves from salespeople who were selling with the seller’s perspective and now becoming Trusted Advisors, selling with the buyer’s perspective. So far, they have the fundamentals right. When preparing for customer meetings they:
- Gather situational knowledge with a Business Acumen hat, on
- Focus on how they can help their stakeholders/customers with their business objectives.
- Know how important it is to understand where the Stakeholder is in their buying clock
- Know they need to meet with more people in the Buying room
- Are aware of Hidden Competitors and have ideas on how to overcome their concerns
- Find insightful information that changes stakeholders’ perceptions of their challenges.
- Have stories to tell supporting their insights
Gosh, compare this preparation with what we did 5-6 years ago; It is no comparison. Nowadays, you will not survive as a salesperson not using any of the above-described new way of selling skills.
Is this it?
But if you have progressed with these new skills and improved the outcome of your sales meetings, you may ask yourself, is this it? Am I doing it right? What else is there to learn? What would help me be even better and outperform the competition consistently? What are these next steps?
The next level: Adapt
The next level of the New Way of selling is becoming a master in adapting your message, your insights, and the commitments your ask from your Stakeholder. You adapt to where the buyer is in their buying clock. In other words, what you say and do during the customer conversation aligns absolutely with the Stakeholder’s thoughts, mindset, and meeting expectations. The key word is Adapt.
From blue belt to black belt
To visualize this, think about the difference you would notice in the movements of two judokas. One with a blue belt and the other with a black belt. The less experienced knows most of the foot, hip, shoulder, and striking techniques, but the judoka with the Dan grade (black belt) understands how to apply these skills according to the opponent’s movements. Judokas, with Dan grades, read their opponent’s intention. They understand the level of attack, defending moves, counter actions, or even if their opponent is truly in for a fight or tries to get them out of balance. They feel their opponent’s intent.
The next level of the New Way of selling is very similar. This is where you learn to read your stakeholder comments, questions, and body language. You learn to read where they are in the Buying clock, what their objectives of meeting with you are, and how your contribution can help achieve these. Wherever the Stakeholder is in the Buying clock, you understand the value needed to move them towards a change.
So, depending on where your Stakeholder is in the Buying clock, think about how you would start the meeting, how would you get the Stakeholder’s interest, and how would you enable your contact to influence the rest of the Buying room. You need a process, aligned to the Buying process..
Are you interested to know more? Look out for next week’s post, where you learn to adapt and make decisions like a black belt judoka.