By Tibor Shanto – firstname.lastname@example.org
One of the underlying drivers for buying decisions is self-interest. While at times this can end up being misguided and self-absorbing with some buyers, it is usually a positive when those interest are aligned with and support corporate objectives. This leads to an outcome where both the individual and the company benefit and move forward. Done right, as a seller you can hit the much sought after trifecta, where your buyer, their company, and you all come out winners.
The challenge that arises is knowing what those self-interests might be, especially with a new buyer or early in the relationship. After all, even if you asked straight up, and you always should in an elegant way, they may not be as forthcoming as they will be once they know and trust you. So what’s a seller to do?
Well there two specifics that you can execute to leverage self-interest. First, is understanding what the specific interest are based on role, and then overlay that with industry specific factors, and potentially other ingredients that could be regional or company specific. As an example, if you look at say CFO’s, regardless of the industry and region of the country they are in, they have more in common than not. If one is a CFO in a manufacturer and another is with a services firm, they will have many role based things in common. If you understand how to effectively meet the needs of one, much of that will be transferable to the other. Sure company size will have impact, as will other things, the reality is that if you understand the interests of one, you have more than a starting point with the next. You know what their mandate is likely to be, how they measure success, what they perceive as risk and how they may choose to deal with it, and so on.
Another thing you can focus in on is how they are measured and evaluated. This leads us to the second means of dealing with self-interest, how can you make them look good.
I recently did a session with a group where they had some questionable experiences with training in the past, most recently an NLP experience that went sideways. When I finished the head of marketing who took in the session, told me that I made the VP of Sales look good!
What better way to leverage the self-interest factor than to make them look good in the eyes of their peers and superiors? Not to mention that it is relatively easy to do, assuming you have a quality offering. We all know, and hopefully practice the art of under promise and over deliver; it is a question of building out on that. During the sale if you do a thorough job of Discovery, you can get a clear picture of not only what their objectives are, but how they will directly benefit if achieved. It will take work, but help them exceed, and not only do you help them achieve those objectives, but can make them look good in the process, helping you enhance the relationship, and build towards future business. Done right everyone’s interests are served, and everyone can look good.
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