The hardest sell of all is to the buyer who thinks he or she does not need you. All too often, salespeople find themselves clamoring for ideas and words to deal with this common situation, and, as a result, end up foolishly saying things that erode their image and their standing.
What many leaders in sales and, by default, their team members either don’t know or forget is that every prospective customer can improve their current circumstances. If things are great, they can be greater. If they’re facing challenges, those can be overcome. The most savvy salespeople determine what’s happening, and what they can do to improve upon that current set of circumstances. This means every buyer, without exception, can benefit from what your company offers, but only if you make a clear connection between their status quo and how your offering achieves something better.
The practice of Radical Accountability requires that we always give those we work with what they really need. In sales, this happens in three steps:
- Instead of just taking orders, take time to truly understand each customer’s current situation, objectives, fears, and the impact these have on the buyer.
- Collaborate with the buyer, asking what a better set of circumstances would look like and the impact these would have, personally, on him or her.
- Offer options for how you can contribute to achieving those improved circumstances.
This Week’s Radical Accountability Activating Action: Work with your sales team to improve their ability to understand each prospect’s current circumstances, using the three-step model above as a framework.
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