Imagine you are a Marketing Manager in a company that is looking for growth opportunities that could determine the next three years’ strategy. You are required to submit a business case and recommend a possible change of supplier(s) to your senior management. This is a big responsibility!
By the way, you are not the only person tasked with this challenge. Your colleagues in Finance, Operations, Procurement, Sales and Customer Service are all researching for information to find ideas that can lead to projects in search of that needed top-line and/or bottom-line acceleration.
What do you think is troubling these stakeholders the most? Is it the cost of change that certainly will come up? Or is it giving up on the relationship with the current suppliers? Or going through the hassle of prioritizing and meeting with new suppliers? Do you think they are scared of change?
Research shows that it is none of these. What is driving them crazy, confusing them the most and giving them that desperate feeling is…
the AMOUNT of information available!
The world we live in today is hard, it’s complex, and it’s overwhelming. How do you decide what information to focus on? Every research paper takes time to read, time to digest, analyze, and share with others. Think of the number of emails businesspeople receive every day. How do you decide which one is important? How do you know that you haven’t missed something that you should be aware of? Where do you find the time? Even if you do find the time, how do you know you are right? One week, after endless searching and researching, you may decide on a differentiator, a must-have application or a strategy that sounds too good to be true. But how do you know you are right? One week later, an idea that may set you apart from your competitor pops up or your colleague forward you a mind-blowing Linkedin mail that she said you must read.
The fact is that, in this ever-evolving world, everyone is trying to find the holy grail of differentiation, value and profit, everyone has an idea and an opinion – and wants to be heard. How do you decide what to focus on?
Wouldn’t it be nice if you would meet with a Salesperson that says: “I am here to help”.
A Salesperson that has experience through meeting with other similar customers understands what works and what doesn’t, understands your situation without asking dozens of questions but gets to your challenge relatively quickly and has ideas, shares insights and an opinion on how to help you. Someone who says: doesn’t it make sense, given your current situation, to focus on these trends, focus and get ahead of the pack?
To be able to show up as a Salesperson and radiate that message… That is exactly the essence of modern selling.
For that, you need to have a different mindset, different skills and attitude than most salespeople. You don’t sell with a Seller’s Perspective but with a Buyer’s Perspective. You understand the Buying Process in and out, who is involved in making buying decisions, and who is influencing who. Your conversations have Business Acumen at the core of change. You can see growth opportunities your customer have not seen yet. The value you offer is always strategic, while understanding that achieving differentiation requires investment.
The Essence of Modern Selling is not for everyone. You need to be thirsty for knowledge. It requires hard work like online sales training, reading books and blogs, listening to sales podcasts, staying up to date with current events, researching trends in your customer’s industries and collaboration skills. Apply all that, and I am sure that your customer will ask: when can we meet again, and if ok with you, I want to bring a few of my colleagues.
Then you know you have mastered the essence of Modern Selling!