We all know them; opportunities that go cold. You have attempted to win many of them several times, but with no success. Often they are businesses dealing with your main competitor, and whatever you have tried, they stay loyal to them. Revisiting these opportunities like you did before will not get you any wiser.
Having learned new selling skills and a new mindset that set you apart in the new way of selling, you can now approach these opportunities differently than before. Plan your next action through self-coaching on these stalled opportunities.
The first step of your plan depends on where your stakeholders were in the Buying Process. Were you are already in a negotiation phase, or didn’t you get to that, meaning the opportunity went cold because your dream customer didn’t consider you as a serious candidate in the Change to Who? Phase. The unfortunate reality is that with many you didn’t pass the Change to What? phase when you last left the building.
Wherever your stakeholders were, reflect the whole situation again from the buyers perspective. What was the value that you offered? What was the main difference between you and your competitors from a buyer’s point of view? Reflect and decide what actions will deliver a new value and reasons enough to go back to the customer:
|The offered value in Selling with the seller’s perspective||The offered value in Selling with the buyer’s perspective||Action|
|You focused in your questions too much on discovering pain points and dissatisfaction||You start by showing an understanding of what the company is looking to achieve and the accompanying challenges|
|You share ideas and insightful information that shine a different perspective on their challenges.|
|You help the stakeholders see that their current setup will not deliver the results they are looking for|
|You help your main contact with making a business case for change and involving more stakeholders.|
|CHANGE TO WHAT?|
|You focused too much on how your solution solves pain points and dissatisfaction.||You share why you think their current set-up is not ideal for overcoming their business challenge.|
|You help the stakeholders to see the need for unique criteria to mitigate risk and capture opportunities.|
|CHANGE TO WHO?|
|Your stakeholders did not see significant differences between you and your competitor.||You share how your solution will deliver a strategic benefit for the company.|
|Price became the big differentiator, and in the end, your opportunity stalled.||You help stakeholders to see the ROI and the fair price of the solution.|
|COMMIT TO CHANGE|
|Your price in the negotiation did not provide the customer with enough value to make a change.||Your stakeholders want to mitigate the current risk and capture the opportunities as discussed in your ideas. They see the strategic value in a change.|
|You gained consensus amongst the whole buying group that a change will deliver the strategic value they did not see before|
The above table is not complete, and it sounds easier than it is. Offering value with the buyer’s perspective requires preparation with a focus on how you can help the customer with a new strategic value that sets them apart from their competitors. Share stories of customers you have helped in similar situations.
Your business acumen in the Why Change? phase will get their initial interest in exploring what a change may look like. Help the customer avoid risks, like being disrupted or missing out on a new revenue stream of income. Through your ideas and insights, you assist in driving a better margin for the customer. These conversations will get your dream customer on the tip of their chair. When they lean forward, you know they want to know more and you won’t stop until there is consensus in the buying group of the new value you can deliver.
Good luck with your successful self-coaching on stalled opportunities.