Disapproval thumbs down by a male executive.

3 Reasons Your Prospecting Messaging Fail0

By Tibor Shanto

Last week another social warrior decided to take to the soap box, and tell us why cold calling is dead, and for him and his followers, it may be, but it can still play a role in your sales and prospecting success.  As is my nature, I took issue with their thinking, but as I read my post, I realized that I had glossed over a key point.  Specifically, that many in sales blame the medium, in this case the phone, rather than the message.  Based on the hundreds of companies I have worked with, I can tell you that when your message sucks, the medium will not make up for it.

Here three things that will cause your approach to fail, no matter the medium.

Important Qualifier:  The areas discussed below pertain to prospecting those people who are generally considered Status Quo, happy where they’re at, not looking for, thinking of, or can even spell the word change.  These are not buyers who are out there looking, consuming content almost at the rate we crack it out, they’ve been to your webinars, and lined up to be “scanned” at a trade show.  We’re looking at Status – don’t bother me – Quo.

Read on…

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Young Woman Traveler Journey Concept

Confusing Journey With Destination0

By Tibor Shanto – tibor.shanto@sellbetter.ca

I spent the weekend with some friends who were planning an overseas vacation next spring.  This is something they have wanted to do for some time, they have been saving up money, vacation days, and sacrificed in other ways, in order to make the trip everything they wanted.  You can sense the energy of anticipation that is going into every element of the planning, and ensuring that the trip lives up to everything they imagined and more.

When speaking to them about the trip, they talk about the unique destinations they plan to visit, food they plan to try, experiences they hope will live up to or exceed expectations.  What was striking is that over the course of the hour or so we talked about their trip, the subject how they were getting to where they were going did not come up.  There was actually one point where they talked about have to traverse a winding mountain side road, but again the focus was not the means of travel, but the experience and life changing experiences and memories.

There is a subtle lesson for sellers in the above example.  Namely that people are much more focused on the outcomes and experiences than how they got to those experiences; simply stated, most people are much more focused on the end than the means.  It is accurate to say that for most business people, as long as the means are ethical and legal, what counts is the outcome.

While it has been a positive that many sellers now spend time and effort on understanding the “buyer’s journey”, there is a risk in relating to the journey strictly through our own filters and needs as sellers, and over emphasising how “our product” is right for the journey.  Sellers need to do a better job of focusing on the outcomes, and the possibilities they deliver for the buyer, rather than the features of our “solution”, how it addresses one or two elements of the journey, while ignoring and confusing what the buyer set out to accomplish on their journey, with the “how” of traveling the journey.

You can look at this in the following way.  We do an exercise with reps of all skills, experience, and offerings.  We ask them a simple question: “what do you sell?”  With all the talk about being customer centric, and being driven by the buyer’s journey, the most typical answers we get, actually contradict their stated intent.  80% of the responses to that question talk to deliverables.  “We sell software”, “we sell hardware, solutions, integration, systems, trucking services, etc.”  All good, all accurate, and for the most part miss speaking to the buyer’s journey.

Buyers set out to buy results, outcomes, specific changes in their business.  This is as true for commodities as it is for so called “complex solutions”.  Look around within your company or even department.  When was the last time you heard your VP of Sales, “I wanna buy me a piece of software that will process leads based on an algorithm designed to….”  No, it is more likely they will talk about the impact that app would have on their pipeline, conversion rates, leading to increased revenues, margins, cash-flows, impact on funding, etc.

Just like my friends, they are more focused on the destination and the experience of that, not the journey.  While in some aspect of life it is more about the journey than the destination, in sales success is measured by the destination.

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pumpkin

Get Your Pumpkin Spiced Leads0

By Tibor Shanto – tibor.shanto@sellbetter.ca

Yes, boys and girls, tomorrow being Halloween, it is the last day to get your Pumpkin Spiced Leads, come November 1, Starbuck rolls out their Christmas and Chanukah cups, and it’s all downhill from there.

Now I know you’re thinking that Shanto has gone mad, but I plead innocent.  In fact, I am just trying to fit in, using the Queens English in the most bizarre way to make a point, a point heavy on drama and embellishment, while short on meaning or accuracy. The wild nature of some of these statements, not only make them difficult to believe, but brings into question the credibility of those making them.    

I recently witnessed an “influencer” from a leading social platform, stand on stage, in front of thousands of sales professionals and leaders, and with a straight face, in fact with great conviction, exclaimed how “a change of job status, is an ‘insight’!”  Insight, seriously? Well you know, English is my third language, so let’s consult the experts.

The capacity to gain an accurate and deep intuitive understanding of a person or thing.
“this paper is alive with sympathetic insight into Shakespeare”
‘his mind soared to previously unattainable heights of insight’

Consider that most people do not update their LinkedIn profile as soon as they accept the letter of offer, indeed, depending where you choose to look, people will wait 90 days or more before updating their LinkedIn profile, some suggest even longer.  Seems to me, that would qualify more as history, than insight, and well short of actionable insight.  But that’s the reality of “insight” becoming fashionable, rather than practical.  Any self-respecting B2B seller, targeting that individual would have known much sooner than 3 months, in fact probably would have capitalized on it, rather than waiting.

While I do appreciate the need for “drama” in selling, and the facts that certain words will embellish the message and make it more effective, there is a cost to overdoing it.  Not only in as much as it makes the message hard to swallow, but that when words are over used, people tend to start ignoring the rest of the sentence, and by extension the message.

I had a call last week from an enthusiastic rep, eager to introduce me to his company’s new and “disruptive” technology that will “change the way I present to prospects and buyers”  Hmm, disruptive, here is the definition I go with:

“Disruptive innovation is a term in the field of business administration which refers to an innovation that creates a new market and value network and eventually disrupts an existing market and value network, displacing established market leading firms, products, and alliances.”

Customized snail mail is not “disruptive”, and by the way, nor is it “awesome”.

pumpkinAs usual, it is easy to blame the front-line seller, but someone put this poor soul up to this.  Those who did put him up to it, include people like me, the experts, and their managers.  We need to be careful about the words we use, and encourage sellers we work with choose.  I recently saw comments pile up on a well-known sales talking head’s video.  In it, in an effort to add some drama to the message, they expressed themselves in a way that to many undermined the message.  A fellow sales advisor commented:

“I believe that his message is relevant and needs to be repeated.
However, his delivery might put off some people.
The two phrases that triggered my BS meter were “I hear this all the time” and his claim about “99.9%” (and I stopped listening after that)
What does “all the time” mean?
Where did you get your stat of “99.9%”? Unfortunately, too many speakers (and sales people) quote unproven stats and throw out vague claims.”

To which another reader offered the following:

Here is the formula for calculating 99.9% of the time
For each observation (x) the deviation (d) from the mean () is x – .
Therefore d2 = (x – )2
Expanding this equation, we get: d2 = x2 – 2x. + ( )2
To obtain the sum of squares of the deviations, we sum both sides of this equation (the capital letter sigma, S = sum of):
Sd2 = Sx2 – 2Sx +S 2
From this equation we can derive the following important equation for the sum of squares, Sd2.
Then we find the sample variance and sample standard deviation:
And there it is …. mumbo jumbo presto chango 99.9% of the time.
Does that make sense?

As you think bout your message, ask yourself which word will cause your prospect to stop listening, and reach for their Pumpkin Spiced Latte?

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Help 1

I Need Some Help1

By Tibor Shanto – tibor.shanto@sellbetter.ca

Despite the state of discourse in general these days, in a one on one settings, like a sales meeting for instance, most people are helpful by nature. As a sales professional, we need to walk the line of leveraging that to help us make a sale, while not taking advantage of it.

I know some days it is hard to convince you that people are helpful, especially when someone just hung up on you, or you’ve run out of ideas how to get a response from someone who said thy were ready and would have the order ready a month ago. But, when you can put those moments aside, there are things you can do to help both the prospect and you succeed.

As with many elements of sales that are more subjective in nature, how effective we are will be influenced by personalities, and how you approach things.  People who naturally social, who draw attention the minute they walk in the room, find soliciting help much easier than another rep who may take a more cerebral style; the difference is in how they solicit help, not their ability to leverage people’s helpful nature.

A simple example is one used by many in prospecting into companies they have not dealt with before, ya, cold calling.  One lady I worked with does this extremely well, she pours her maternal self into every call, and with the warmest and “lost voice” she will call her intended target, and start with the following:

Seller: Is this Mr. Chapman?
Prospect: yes,
Seller: I am hoping you can help me.

Help 1

She then goes on to introduce what she sells, not a product riff, but as a true graduate, she speaks to objectives and outcomes she and her company have delivered to other similar buyers.  She ends her intro by asking:

“Who should I be talking to about that?”

When the person identifies themselves as the right party, she continues:

“Wow, that was fortunate, ….”  She then continues to close on the appointment.

It is important to remember that this does not guarantee an opportunity, people will still evaluate the premise of the offering, timing, and more.  But she does have more conversations, and is able to explore further than in scenarios where the call does not start with a call for help.

The main reason for this, is that by asking for help, we help the mind focus and understand that they are looking for an answer to the caller’s “dilemma”.  When they get a plain cold call, it is perceived as an interruption, and the mind listens and weighs their perception of the call vs. being interrupted. As soon as it is labeled an interruption, the mind shifts to “we gotta get rid of this disruption, and get back to my work.”  When we start by asking for help, the mind shifts to “I gotta listen and see if and how I can help.”  Again, I am not suggesting that asking for help will lead to an instant prospect, but it will lead to a more attentive one, and by extension, and better shot.

Hope that helped!

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Apple in calss

Educate To Sell0

By Tibor Shanto – tibor.shanto@sellbetter.ca

I was in the audience for a panel looking at sales, and the future of sales (yes, another). What made this a wee bit more interesting is they actually had some buyers on the panel, bringing a level of reality often absent from such affairs. One CEO made a comment that at first seems basic, but when expanded on his experience, it was easy to see why we as sellers think we are doing something, the buyer completely misses, or misinterprets.

He spoke of how he measures a good meeting, a simple measure, but as he says often not achieved by sellers. He feels that is a meeting with a sales person makes him think, look at something in a tangibly different way as a result of the meeting with the rep, and best of all, if he learned something new. If the seller was able to challenge some of his assumptions, and preconceptions, it often led to one or more of the above measures. He was asked if he had heard of the Challenger Sale, and if those were the type of sellers he was looking to work with? He said he was aware of the book, and as he said he has had “the pleasure of participating in meetings where sales professional challenged in the way the book spells out, and others, where the sales people just play point-counterpoint, the only challenge there is making it through the meeting.”

Many in sales will agree that it is the role of a seller to educate their buyer, the question is how that is done. Think back to school, who were the best teachers, the ones that made you think, reconsider your view, and help you take on new concepts and practices? While there is a Madison Ave image of the teacher, a lecturer dispensing information and lessons. These are the ones where you sat in class and asked if it was on the test, if so you retained it, if not, why take up storage space.

However, most people remember those teachers who left a lasting mark or impression; more importantly, taught them how to think about a scenario or situation, in a way that leads to analysis and understanding. These educators, the best educators, start with engagement. Engagement is more than just being present, many executives sit through meeting, nod politely, but not be engaged. No engagement = no understanding = no purchase.

Apple in calssTo engage, you have to get them to think, as Gerald Bostock told us, “I may make you feel, but I can’t make you think”. Getting them to think takes questions, planned, scripted questions based on experience, and expertise. The right questions interrupt a racing mind; while they may be in the room, most busy buyers are thinking about the next meeting, or the one after that. Good strategic questions, based on your 360 Deal View work, keep the buyer present, and open to ideas they would miss when drifting in though. At the same time, as Dorothy Leeds explains in her The 7 Powers of Questions: Secrets to Successful Communication in Life and at Work, questions get people to think, and that’s always good, especially these days.

Evidence of engagement is when they are not just willing to share info, but crucial information about gaps in their thinking, and how they can address the issues you are exploring with them. Meeting that advance the buyer’s knowledge, also advance their confidence, and willingness to buy something other than what they thought at the start of the meeting. We have all been to meetings where there was a lot of information exchanged, but no one left any smarter, or more willing to buy. As with most good education, it has a purpose and a destination, so should your sales meetings.

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Rain

Risk vs. Uncertainty0

By Tibor Shanto – tibor.shanto@sellbetter.ca

Risk and certainty are not the same, but listening to the way many speak, it is easy to get the impression that even native English speakers often mix and interchange the two.  In most instances or conversation this misuse (or abuse) of the two may not matter or have tangible consequences, but in sales, well, they do.

At a basic level, with risk we are dealing with the known or experience backed estimate or assumptions.  If we look at actuarial work, they assess the risk, based on data and other factors, and then calculate what it will take to cover or mitigate the risk.   

Certainty speaks to the unknown, right out of the dictionary:

not clearly identified or defined; a fire of uncertain origin. 

Certainty or uncertainty may be a component of the factors people will use to calculate risk, but it is always the unknown element.

When it comes to selling it is not a question of right or wrong, but ensuring the seller and buyer are talking about the same thing, otherwise we sellers, may be introducing unnecessary risk into our sales.

Buyer may be uncertain about a number of things related to their purchase, which impacts the level of risk they perceive.  Some of that uncertainty may be around the new direction they are embarking on that may require services like yours.  Others may be certain they are on the right path, but uncertain you are the right travel mate or partner embark with.  One way to manage this is providing insight and knowledge to help the buyer understand, and reduce their uncertainty.

RainSome believe they do this but they do not.  An example would be ROI calculators or marketing contrived scenarios.  These are not bad, but are usually product or vendor centric.  They take a “real life” scenario, which is usually not based on the average experience, but the absolute best-case scenario, usually one your current buyer does not always relate to.  This adds to their uncertainty about whether you understand what they are looking to achieve, adding to both their uncertainty and the risk to you getting the deal.

According to The B2B Buying Disconnect – TrustRadius 2017, buyers find sellers focus on providing material that buyers don’t find very useful or trustworthy, they don’t trust all vendor claims, nor do they expect to, especially when sellers overemphasize selection criteria that aren’t important to buyers.  But buyer do want something that vendors have in but fail to fully leverage, satisfied customers, prospects want hands-on experience with the product and insights from customers.   A clear indication that sellers are adding to the uncertainty with their approach.

Sellers often know the outcomes or impacts they seek, but have no clear ideas on how to get there.  This is where sellers make the mistake of only focusing on risks they perceive prospects may focus on while comparing providers.  When they do this instead of dealing with the buyer’s uncertainty first, they are adding risk to their chances of winning the deal.  Sellers need to understand buyer uncertainty, once they have removed, minimized or isolated the buyer’s uncertainty sufficiently, they can turn to dealing with the inherent risk. Sellers actually increase the risk in the deal if they do not deal with uncertainty first, especially if that uncertainty is not around vendor, but on the means to an end, specifically their objectives.  By failing to deal with uncertainty, they elevate risk.

One way to deal with this, as I have stated in the past, is to leave the product in the car, and go in with the goal of understanding their objectives, gaps and hurdles in their way to achieving those objectives.  This will help them articulate their uncertainty; you can leverage the tension between what they want and what is driving their inability to achieve them, the very things causing their uncertainty.  Creating clarity, removing doubt, will not only allow them to attribute value to dealing with you, but also reduce perception of risk on their side.

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girl by phone

Social Ends When The Phone Rings0

By Tibor Shanto – tibor.shanto@sellbetter.ca

The reason you need to integrate social selling, traditional phone work, and other elements of prospecting, is to ensure that you are covering all bases the process of converting a stranger, into a bonified pipeline opportunity. This means using the right tool at the right time, not as some would have you believe, using one tool “über alles”; but rather using the right tool for the task at hand along each step of the process.

Social selling, and the use of social media is key to learning about the target industry, the specific company, certainly for understanding the individual you are pursuing, or more accurately the image your target is projecting on social media. Remember the lessons learned from Seth Stephens-Davidowitz’s Everybody Lies: Big Data, New Data, and What the Internet Can Tell Us About Who We Really Are. There is no shortage of materials available on how you can leverage LinkedIn, ABM and more, on how to smooth the path to first contact. But for most, especially in outbound sales, there is the point where we must pick up the phone and go direct.

When the phone rings, we enter a different realm, where based on the reality of the situation, “being social” does not play as well, and in fact can be deterrent for the prospect. Whatever interaction we may have with someone prior to the phone, it is usually on their terms, they choose to interact, they set the ground rules, and ultimately pause a conversation, or take it further right away. But when we call them, especially an unscheduled call, at a time we picked, not the target, a different set of dynamics kick in. As discussed here in the past, we are an interruption, and as such, a set of events are set into motion, usually leading to an objection, the bane of telephone prospectors everywhere. Being aware of what we are in the eye of the prospect, we need to take steps to make it easier for the prospect to stay on the call, rather than making it easier for them to blow us off.

There are two things sellers can do, with focus and practice, to avoid being victim of dynamics. Two questions that many feel compelled to ask at the start of the call, that if left out, would help them be more successful on more calls.

girl by phoneThe two questions:

  • How Are You?
  • Is this A Good Time?
    (or any variation of either of the above)

We ask these questions because we have been conditioned to do so from day one; our parents, teachers, and others, have drilled into us that social norm is for conversations to start with one of the above. Well telephone prospecting is different than other conversation we usually have.

I am not suggesting we need to be rude, unsocial, or unconventional for the sake of unconventional, but to take an interruption, where the other party just wants to get back to finishing their seemingly unending days, to a genuine conversation, we need to manage the dynamics of the moment.

The reality remains that the prospect wants to understand “What Is In It For Me”, and that is what we need to lead with. Knowing they are feeling great, or like shit, does not get us any closer to that. Leading with the outcomes they can expect based on your ability to help them achieve their objectives, is more likely to. Being an interruption, and then asking, “Is this a good time?” or “Do you have a few minutes?”, or any iteration, is just stupid by definition.

Of course it is not a good time, they have a ton of stuff to finish, and there is a 90%+ chance they were not thinking about your product or marketing speak. On the other hand, if you lead with specific outcomes, they may recognize their own objectives in the mix. Lead with that, and ditch the “Social Norm” questions, to conversations based in that norm, a cold call is not that.

To close, I know that years of conditioning is hard to shake, so here is a way to transition from the silly questions above, to starting help them understand what is in it for them in your call. Remember, the problem with questions, is that you have to stop and wait for an answer, which relinquishes control of the flow, you are now completely dependent on their answers. If you get a positive response, great. But if you get a negative “I’m busy”, “Not a good time”, “What do you want?”; you now have to deal with that objection, rather than one based on your real value to the prospect. Rather than a question, make a statement, one that allows you to get rid of that social steam you have pent up. Once you introduce yourself, just name, not your whole resume, say “Thanks for taking my call”. You acknowledge that you have interrupted their day, but unlike a question, you can keep going to your outcome statements.

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iStock_000001908289Small

Prospecting Dynamics0

By Tibor Shanto – tibor.shanto@sellbetter.ca

Proactive Prospecting Summer – Part 6

In this segment of Proactive Prospecting Summer, we look at the importance of the unspoken in prospecting calls.

Telephone prospecting, after all, is an exercise in communication. If we take the experts at their word, communication is roughly 60% body language, the one thing we don’t have working for us on the phone, or e-mail, or LinkedIn; 30% intonation and expression, and only 10% the words used to communicate. Yet most of the effort by sellers in prospecting is focused on words “the messaging”, and little effort to compensate for the 60% not available to at the time of the game. Which is a lot like getting the best warhead, then placing it on a delivery mechanism that is bound to miss the target.

When we call someone unexpectedly, unscheduled, we need to ensure that we are cognizant and balancing for environment, on both ends of the call. What’s gone on before the call, going on during the call, and things likely to happen as a result of the call? Managing all that, is managing the dynamics of the call, take a look.

Next Step

How to prepare, manage and execute is dealt with in much greater detail in the Proactive Prospecting Program available on-line at Sales Gravy University.

 

Honestly

Lie To Me Like Everyone Else Does0

By Tibor Shanto – tibor.shanto@sellbetter.ca 

Revenue, finding it, winning it keeping it, is more than sales, and certainly more than just one says. Winning growing and retaining clients (the source of revenue), may be centered around sales, but involves other key groups. Some like marketing, may not have as much direct contact with prospects/clients as customer support, implementation and others. All have an opportunity to reinforce the relationship, or blow it, making each and every interaction and exchange with a client. I know there were a number of accounts I lost because of an experience a client had with support; just as have landed bigger deals and kept them because of things others did for my clients. All this makes each encounter key, and makes one wonder why some companies have their representatives say some of the things they say to customers, and to know that they actually paid someone to teach these mistakes to their teams.

One challenge arises when there is a disconnect between what people say, and how they act, I guess one can call it incongruity

Empathy Is Not Just A Word

We all know empathy is central to interactions and by extension sales. But empathy is more than a word, it is more than an ingredient you measure and add in the right amounts at the right times during a conversation. It is very much the behavior that defines the word, not just saying it. You can’t say you are empathetic to a buyer or their concerns, and then behave in an opposite manner.

We have all had the opportunity to be screwed by a provider, I am not saying wireless, but as an example. Instead of dealing with the issue at hand they always apologize and empathize, I am sure it is like pages 27 to 32 in the work book.

“no matter what the prospect/customer says, just say ‘I apologize Mr. Shanto, I am sorry you feel, I can understand you feeling that way’ and then let them continue.”

You know they don’t mean, only because they don’t take any action to change things, just agree with your feelings, and apologize for how you feel, but not what they did to make you feel that way.

This is a challenge for sellers, because they too say things the prospect does not see them act on, which just confirms the whole mess.

What’s funny about the whole thing, is many companies, for example wireless, will do this to “how can I help – I apologize and see why you feel that way”; then do nothing, you bring up your next point, and they go right back to “yes, I can see that – I apologize and see why you feel that way”, and keep it going for a long time without resolution, until you drop the F-Bomb. Then it all becomes about that, the F-Bomb. So, it is perfectly fine for them to do it to you, but not for you to talk about it.

Honestly

The other words that cause prospects and buyers to be cautious is when a sales rep or support rep, says in response to a question the prospect/customer has says “Well to be honest,…” Hang on a minute, does that mean everything you said prior to this was not honest?

I know it is just a turn of phrase, but buyers hear these things over and over, and have come to take the words at face value, with the expectation that nothing will result of the conversation.

Why not just leave these expressions out? You want them to feel they are being empathized with, show them, act the part, don’t just talk to it because it is on page 27 of the work book. Align you actions with your words and people will see you are honest, you may not always be perfect, you may not always be spot on, but you will be perceived as being a lot more honest and customer focused, then just talking about it and then walking another way.

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Portrait of a businessman giving a business card

What Do You Sell?0

By Tibor Shanto – tibor.shanto@sellbetter.ca 

Proactive Prospecting Summer – Part 4

In this part of the Proactive Prospecting Summer series, we look at improving how we communicate early in the call.  Clear concise communication is key to sales, especially in the pressure packed first few seconds of an unscheduled prospecting call, yes, a cold call. Yet it is interesting how many sellers fail to effectively communicate the simplest concepts at this crucial stage of the sale.

Try this experiment, if you are a manager or team leader, next time you have team together in a room, or call, ask them to respond to the following question: “What do you sell?” If you need to set it up, tell them the setting is a trade show and the person asking the question could be a viable prospect, so the answer counts. After a few minutes, you can start capturing their answers.

Go ahead, try it now, we’ll be here, I gotta check my e-mail anyways.

Good, you’re back, gave it a go? Here are the types of answers I get when I do this with teams:

“I sell…

Software
Hardware
Copiers
Transportation services
Marketing Automation
CRM
Recruiting
IT Integration
Engineering

Occasionally I hear:

“We sell solutions”, but when I ask them to elaborate, they do not go to the problem they “solve” (as in solution), they revert to product.

Others will offer up “efficiencies”, a top 5 “Sales Empty Calorie Word”. While it sounds cool, it means nothing to a prospect who has heard a thousand times before. If you don’t shape it in some way that they can visualize in their business, words like efficiency, productivity, solutions, work-flow, and others are devoid of meaning, and can in fact hurt you in a prospecting call.

I recently worked with a leading telco provider, and in doing this and a related exercise answering the question “why do people buy from you and your company?”. The Alpha rep in the group offered up, “We sell productivity, that’s why people buy from us, we make them more productive.” I said “great, give me an example.” Still confident, he fired by “we make them productive through the efficiencies we bring”. I asked for an example of the efficiencies their clients realise, here is what I got “We increase efficiencies for them by making them more productive.” “In what way?” I asked, and it literally circled like that for five minutes. How long do you think a prospect will give him on an unsolicited and unscheduled call (or e-mail, or InMail)? Exactly.

If you look at the list above, it is all correct, but it really relates to what your company “manufactures” or “produces”, or from the buyers point of view, it is literally the “deliverables”, the stuff that will be in the boxes when it arrives on “location”. But buyers are more interested in the impact the “deliverables” will have on their business. Buyers, especially economical buyers, set out to achieve business results, the “deliverables” are just a means to an end, and for most economical buyers (not the implementers, or the people who get to “push the buttons” every day, the means are a distant third to the outcome.

Many cold callers try to explain what they do at the top of the call, and then wonder why “there is no interest”. Likely because that is not what the buyer was thinking about at the time they called. But if you move to defining things in a way that aligns with the outcomes they are looking for, that are similar to what you current clients are already achieving. So go ask them what is different in their world vis-à-vis their goals, issues, risk, reputation, cost structures, market share, anything other than something that sounds like a deliverable.

As a seller, you need to translate the question “What do you sell?” to “What are they looking to achieve?” The answer has to be driven by the outcomes they are looking for. How will their world be different after they buy from you? That’s what you sell.

You can drill down on this exercise, and make it more specific to your business by exploring the on-demand version of the Proactive Prospecting Program on Sales Gravy University.

PPP On Demand
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