In sales, our job is to make things unequal. Your prospect is currently using your competitor as their main supplier for their needs. If you want to change that, eventually, then you will ask your prospect to change.
What is your current success based on? How do you make things unequal? If you are like thousands of your peer salespersons, then you are probably following certain steps of your sales process. You have a discovery questioning phase where you hope to get answers in the form of problems, issues, and challenges your prospect faces with the service, capabilities, and performances of your competitor. You do not always follow the sales process to the letter, but the sales training you have attended has given you a certain fundamental approach to work from. You add value by selling the features, advantages, and benefits of your products and services, your company’s capabilities and your brand over your competitor.
How is this going so far for you? Is your approach still working?
Being out there every day in the field or on the phone, you must have noticed a change in the customer’s reactions to your questioning and to your approach. Are your prospects still as receptive to talk about change as a few years ago? Do you feel, at times, it is more difficult to engage the customer to talk about their issues and what keeps them up at night? Have you experienced it is more challenging in general to get proper appointments with influencers and decision-makers?
If you have, then you are not alone. To get your prospect’s attention, a change is needed. The business people you meet every day are expecting something else from you. The longer you hold on to selling from the seller’s perspective, the greater the risk you move away from the stakeholders instead of getting closer to them. To establish a proper conversation about change, you need to have a good look in the mirror.
What do your meetings really look like? Do you go through a lengthy introduction about yourself? Do you pitch yourself and your company at your first meeting? Do you talk about how good your company is, the main products and services benefits you think will appeal to the prospect?
Do you, before the meeting, already have a plan in place of how you would like the conversation to go? Have you already prepared a most likely solution and focus during the meeting on when you can turn the conversation in that direction? When you are presenting something, are your company logos on every slide and is the content full of your company’s features, advantages, and benefits? Do you calculate your sales commission in advance of closing opportunities?
Have a good look in that mirror. What does the mirror see in you? What needs to change to get your prospect’s attention?
You need to sell with the buyer’s perspective. Their success is your success. A sales transformation is needed and it starts with you.
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