When your selling, it’s really easy to talk about you, your company and how good your products and services are. Yet to do so is usually a mistake. This approach will rarely work.
Yes, there will be a stage during the sales process when you’ll need to talk about how you can help your potential customer – but that’s different to the initial scenario I described. One version is all about you, you, you whilst the other is about how the potential customer would gain from a relationship with you. There’s a massive difference. And it’s sad to report that many salespeople never distinguish between the two approaches – never truly find out what the prospect or customer actually really needs – and lose sales as a result.
Embrace the uniqueness
Growing strong and positive relationship where you focus on your client’s needs, problems, challenges, and desires is vital and will ultimately lead to the successful matching of your products or services with their needs.
Every one of your potential customers is different, all are unique. That’s down to the individual influences of all the events, successes, disappointments, peer groups, working relationships, family relationships they’ve encountered throughout their life. Respect and acknowledge this – then let it work for you.
So, forget you – and forget your standard sales presentation! From now on, in every sales situation you encounter, acknowledge that everyone is different and therefore needs a different approach. Just making that mental shift alone could transform your sales results!
The typical B2B sales pitch…
The prospect expects a pitch. The salesperson expects to do a pitch – and off they go. The standard pitch gets rolled out and the prospects are left to pick out the relevant bits from this ‘throw everything in’ presentation. The salesperson speaks nonstop for the whole pitch with maybe a few questions at the end and perhaps a general discussion if it’s going well.
The problems with this approach are that…
- The real challenges and “pains” of the customer are never established.
- There’s no genuine connection or rapport.
- There’s often no real feedback of whether the salesperson is close to a sale or not.
- Everything has been delivered according to the salesperson’s map of the world and the map of the receiver is never either elicited or acknowledged.
An alternative approach
Walk in – and say something like “rather than talk non-stop about us and what we do – I’m very interested in you, your company and your current and future challenges. Then I’ll be in a much better position to suggest how we might help you conquer your challenges and drive you towards your business objectives. Would that be helpful?”
Assuming a yes – “thank you – so, in the area of xxx, what would you say your current challenges are?”
A two-way exchange ensues.
The advantages of being…
- They’re talking and you’re listening, that’s the way it should be.
- You’re finding out gems of information about their needs which you can incorporate when it’s your turn to talk.
- You’re finding out about how they’re programmed’- for example, whether they are pain or gain motivated, their representational systems, or if they’re internally or externally focused. And you can tailor your language accordingly to maximize rapport.
- Of course, you’re learning exactly how you can specifically help them – and are now able to give examples of how you’ve helped similar companies to theirs who had faced similar challenges prior to you helping them.
In my experience, this approach is always more successful. You’ve connected, built genuine rapport, and identified what they really need – and can then present your offering to them knowing it’s 100% certain to hit the target. Yes, of course, it’s horses for courses, but for me, the aim should mostly be to control the exchanges in the way I’ve described here.
It’s all about the psychology of selling!