By John Holland, Chief Content Officer, CustomerCentric Selling®
I’d like to share a few observations about average salespeople. I believe they:
- Talk too much
- Talk mostly about their products/offerings
- Don’t ask enough questions
This shouldn’t come as a great surprise to companies that hire them and immediately subject sellers to product training. Unless sellers know better and can convert what they learned into a coherent 30-minute call on business people, product training points them in the direction of making product pitches.
Executive level buyers have neither the time nor interest to learn all about offerings (tolerate “pitches”). Superior sellers realize that during calls a more effective sequence is to:
- Have buyers conclude sellers are sincere and competent
- Uncover business outcomes buyers would like to improve
- Help buyers understand why they can’t achieve the desired results
- Only present features that are relevant to achieving the desired goals
This nets out to being more patient than most sellers by asking questions to find out a buyer’s current situation and listening to the answers. By uncovering needs, sellers earn the right to talk about relevant features/capabilities.
Expose the Hurt and Offer the Rescue
Ultimately, Sales can be viewed as a “hurt and rescue” exercise. By that I mean having buyers share goals they can’t achieve and helping them understand why their current approach is “broken.” After doing so, empower/rescue them by helping them understand the specific capabilities they need. This approach should yield superior buying experiences and can be a differentiator when offerings and pricing are similar.