It’s crazy… the more experience I gain working with different organizations, different industries and people with different experiences, the more ideas I can take out of this book and use in my personal sales life… Maybe that isn’t crazy for you, but it sure is crazy for me. On top of that, the other 6 salespeople I work with, I can give them examples from the book when they explain their situation.
Creating value for buyers has always been the focal point in the past few books I’ve read. It’s less about the features and more about what you can bring to the table.
“You could create value for crazy-busy buyers by showing them how to reduce the overall cost of the program while maintaining its effectiveness and integrity. You could share relevant information regarding “best practices” and what your company has learned from work with similar organizations.”1
Becoming a business improvement specialist can go a long ways. Once you’ve gotten experience in your role, you can use those personal experiences to help future customers. I’m currently talking with a company that is looking at purchasing the competition… Once I got in front of the prospect and shared with them that I’m switching over a company from that competitor, they wanted to know why.
That’s just one example of how I can lend some recently acquired knowledge to my prospect.
“They [customer’s] lack the knowledge, evidence, experience, trust and confidence necessary to invest and commit. More than anything, they are seeking reliable guidance that will give them the confidence to move successfully forward. No one likes change, of course. But no one likes standing still – and being left behind – either.” – Britton Manasco2
Your prospects want all of the juicy details. They want to know what you know. That’s why they’re talking to you. They are coming to you for help because you specialize in something they need. They want to feel like they’re in the most competent hands out there. It’s time for you to grab the bull by the horns and lead an organization to the finish line.
Once the prospect knows that you’ve done ‘this’ before, the light bulb will click on and they’ll be happy they brought you in. This next part hit home…
“When you’re late to the party
Before you get caught up in the seduction of the low-hanging fruit, slow down, catch your breath and gather your wits about you. Just because you have an interested prospect does not mean that a sale is imminent. In fact, depending on your product or service, it may be months before you have a signed contract.”3
You’ve got to live this one before you can truly appreciate this Ah-Ha Moment. I was so freaking late to the party… but I was there and I was excited. Got in, did my due-diligence, showed them the product, showed pricing… like clockwork all within a week. #Boom – crash and burn. I was just so excited that I wanted to compete against anybody and they’d already been evaluating the competition for a few months. I would have been better off taking my time or not competing at all.
Luckily though, for me, this prospect is extremely responsive and I sent tidbits of information every few weeks. It’s just a matter of time before I get back in there. I should have been honest, and let the prospect know that I didn’t have enough time to fully evaluate the situation.
“Today’s prospects want to know the truth, so don’t shade it. In this social media age, where customers freely voice their opinions online, you can be assured that any issue about your offering, customer service, and financial stability can easily be uncovered.”4
Wan evidence? Go on Twitter, Facebook or Google and look up your company’s name and add customer service, hack, experience at the end of it. You’re going to get a handful of websites where customers complain about your company or product. It’s just the nature of the beast being in the information age. It happens… so if a prospect brings it up, DO NOT lie about it. It’ll definitely come back to bite you in the ass.
Nobody likes being lied to… so if you’re transparent, the communication should be completely open.
“Your prospects like truth-tellers. Don’t be afraid to speak up. But make sure they understand the context of what you’re sharing. You care. You want them to succeed. That’s why you’re talking.”5
Pretty simple, right? I think, often, sales people try to be too salesy. They want to appeal to all of the must-haves an organization it looking for. They want to bend over backwards for their prospect and they’re willing to drop their pants to earn their business. In some sense, it happens. I think the sales people that rise up, provide value, take the opportunity by the horns and lead the prospect down the path of success will end up winning.
Telling them ‘no’ or ‘we can’t do that’, might be a deal killer. But when the competition says they can do it and then they don’t… guess who the prospect is going to come running back to. I get to see this on a weekly basis. The competition says they can do something and then the customer gets screwed. The salesperson is nowhere to be seen since they already closed the deal.
There’s more to come from me about:
Snap Selling | Jill Konrath
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