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Gaining access to your prospects now can be difficult. Most folks are in the unaware phase. They are heads down putting our internal fires, unaware things could be different, better, more enjoyable. When we eventually get their attention, get time on their calendar and finally book a call we have access! This is where those who pitch here fall off and fall off fast. Think of how many steps went into getting the meeting, don't blow it now!
This is our time to connect with them. Look at things through their lens. Anticipate the questions they may have, the objectives that will arise, and motivations/ influencers? Status quo? Indecision? And the list goes on. Our first meeting must be about them. They feel the shift and focus, and that we are different and memorable. This is unexpected behaviour. How can we create this experience for our prospects? @Gartner states buyers place the buying experience higher in priority over product and price. So let’s give them one. But to do that we must be intentional.Most reps are in the unconscious competent zone. They are good but they are on autopilot. Unaware of what they are doing that is contributing to their successes, hard to replicate.How can we show up with intention? so we are authentic and relatable?
See my 3 ways below:
Know our core values.
Why is this so important?
This is the underpinning of our conversations and our decisions, it is our moral compass. When we aren't clear with this we can get swayed by external detractors, become unwavering in our communication, and lack clarity in our directives for ourselves, our team, and our clients. Do we embody our core values? Are they in line with our company’s? Is there congruence? Do we incorporate them in our leadership language? Let others know what we stand for, and what is important to us. This openness invites them to share as well. Great way to break down walls, build trust and lead with transparency.
This can be hard work for some. Our values become our identity.
Values that no longer serve us may be harder to let go of as they are comfortable. As Brene Brown says “courage over comfort”. What can we let go? create space for something new and in line with who we are today. Sometimes we are afraid to do the inner work as it may reveal bad habits, fear, self-doubt, and negative talk that are all eroding our confidence and paralyzing us from moving forward. The only way out of this is to take action.
Acting from the inside out. Start reflecting on what is important to you, where do you feel passion, excitement, and alignment? Why? Get curious and listen to what is going on, this is the first step.
Stay the main point of contact.
We have worked so hard to engage with our prospects, get time on their calendar, and ask questions to understand what is happening behind closed doors. We are now in a position to show them how we can possibly help them. I understand, that in a complex sale, there are multiple stakeholders on both sides. They need to be paired up with each other speak their common language, and ask their specific questions.However, what I see too often is the sales rep relinquishes all power to their support team. They let the sales engineer, legal rep, and IT consultant take over and run the show.This leaves your prospects confused. Up until this point you have guided them along the journey. Educated them as to the current and future stages, and what they can expect. Then you take a back seat and someone new is driving the bus.
They can get skeptical, unclear, and unsure as to why you are passing the baton. In their eyes, you were seen as credible, trustworthy and offering counsel, has something changed? If you are bringing in a support team, it is important to let them support you, not replace you. Set clear expectations, who will share what information, to whom for how long. Let your audience know well in advance that additional team members will be joining you, however, you remain front and center.
Help them see around the corner.
Often our buyers are not sophisticated buyers. What does that mean? They have never bought your solution before, or they are unaware of their internal buying process. Most may not share that with you either. Their questions, suggestions, lack of clarity, and operating alone may give it away. Our job is to answer the unasked questions. This comes down to “they don’t know what they don’t know”. How can we help them see around the corner? What happens after the PO is signed?
Do they have the infrastructure in place to support the new system/ solution?
Will they need to develop new policies, procedures/ SOP's? Hire staff to manage the solution. Help them think outside the box. What are their short- and long-term goals? Can you offer phased-in approaches to ease the burden of change management? This may create initial overwhelm but it gets all the requirements on the table. Building trust and inviting them to surrender to your assistance. You are in a position to guide them across a chasm they know nothing about.
Knowing the emphasis on the buying experience, what one thing will you do today to make it easy for your buyer to say yes?
For 20 years Karen has been specializing in the art and science of sales and communication her passion and experience are helping technical sales professionals become more confident and to disrupt with value.
Her dedication to developing and delivering customized sales training programs provide her audience practical, relevant tools that can be used immediately to break down the barriers in a competitive landscape and separate themselves from the noise.