What Is The Impact?
(* A bit late today because my 5:00 pm frpm Calgary last night finally took off at 10:00 pm.)
If you’ve been in sales for longer than two days you are familiar with WIIFM: What’s In I t For Me? The question every prospect is asking and the one they have the right to know. Still a large number of sales people confuse the ME in the question for themselves rather than the prospect.
This is not because they don’t care, or want to ignore the buyer, but because they confuse what is of interest to the buyer, or how the prospect makes key decisions. Most still think that what is in in it for the buyer is what their marketing brochure or website features. If you think I am too harsh, take two minutes got to any five web sites at random and see if it speaks to the buyers’ view or the sellers’ view. With some web site, it’s hard to understand who they speak to at all, or what they are speaking about period.
One exercise we always do with sellers is asking them to answer: “what do you sell?” For the most part what we hear is product description; on a good days broad benefits, and a great day specific benefits. What we rarely if ever hear is the impact the sellers’ offering has on the buyer’s business or objectives.
Once the buyer can clearly understand the specific impact the seller and their offering can have on the buyer’s business, or conversely, the downside impact of not having our offering will have, then there is a not only a greater likelihood that they will engage, but that they will also act.
The key to knowing the impact rests in two areas, the discovery questions you use, and experience. Now experience does not mean that new reps have an excuse, they can draw on the collective experience of their organization. This where the manager and the induction process a company has in place will have an impact on the success of new reps ramping up quickly, and by extension the success of the selling organization.
Taking that experience and learning how to turn them into good Impact Questions is the next step. Again, this is a simple process of building on things many sales people are already good at and taking it to the “Art” level of sales. Most are good at the old game of feature benefit, all you have to do then is ask the question “to what end?”
From the clients’ stand point, in understanding their objectives, to what end is that feature truly a benefit. What is the direct and specific impact for the client? So maybe instead of focusing on the client asking “What’s In It For Me?” Sellers should answer the more relevant question the buyer is likely asking: “What’s The Impact For or On Me?”
What’s in Your Pipeline?