If you’ve taken any of the Sales Dynamo classes over the years, you’ve heard us say it dozens of times: “No one wants to be sold, they want you to buy in.” I’m reminding you to sell more by pitching less, and buying into the client’s reality.
“Being sold” is when the sales professional enters the call with a plan to sell something specific. Your boss wants you to sell more doo-dads, and you pitch doo-dads to every prospect this week. It doesn’t matter what the prospect is thinking, or what they need. They’re going to hear about doo-dads. The days of pitch-selling success are long behind us. You may accidentally trip over the odd person who needs what you’re pushing, but that’s the exception, not the rule.
“Buying in” is buying in to the prospect’s situation and goals. It is about listening and learning. What if you didn’t offer any products in the sales call at all? Would it change things if the whole “sales call” was about learning about your client’s business, goals, plans, and needs? What if it was okay to walk out of the call without having pitched anything? (You’ll schedule a follow up call before you leave, so you can provide your recommendations.) What if you were there to “buy in” to their dream and their plans? It allows your client to let down their guard, relax, and talk about their favorite subject – themselves.
As I’ve said, if you listen to your client they will tell you how to sell them, and what to sell to them. The trick is getting them to want to talk. “Buying in” removes the need for the client to object, because there’s nothing to object to. So how do you spark the conversation?
It depends on the client, of course, but there are some basics. Whether it’s B2B or B2C, find out what their situation is, and what they want it to be. How long have they been on this track, or had this need, or this goal? When do they want to achieve it? What does it cost them (time, emotion, money, effort, reputation) when the goal isn’t met? What would meeting the goal allow them to do next?
For suggested reading on learning your buyer’s triggers, check out the titles on The Essential Sales Bookshelf.
What is Their Challenge?
If they want to keep the status quo, what is challenging it? Competition, economy, supply lines, aging infrastructure? How do they deal with those challenges? In all of the answers to all of these questions you’ll learn whether they want to take small steps, or big ones. Do they want to dominate their market or industry, or appeal to a very small, specific segment? Do they think they need help, or do they think they need resources? All of this allows you to position yourself and your products in exactly the way your client is prepared to receive them.
Sometimes you won’t have a clear picture of how to help your prospect in the moment. You’ll get a proposal out to them in a day or two. You’ll snag another associate or your manager to give the client the service that will make the sale. That’s not only okay, it’s an important basic. Repeat sales are not made on fast solutions, they’re made on the right solutions.
For more on optimizing your client’s experience, click here.