Today’s consumers are re-defining value and changing the way your organization’s sales process works. This shift is a game-changer for everyone in the organization. Buyers are coming to the table with more information about your company than ever before so it is no longer acceptable for sales people to lead their conversations with product and services information. They must add value in a different way from the start or buyers will move on. Equipping your sales people to make the shift to a more consultative mindset and really LISTEN to the customer is paramount.
During a recent webinar I shared tips on what buyers want from your salespeople and critical best practices for having valuable & relevant sales conversations with your customers. If you missed the session, a recording is now available online. But, if you’re looking for the abbreviated version, here are some of the key takeaways I shared:
- Buyers want to talk to sales reps who have a point of view that will help them solve business problems
- Prepare, prepare, prepare for your meeting with the right buyer
- Share customer stories where you have helped solve business problems
After the presentation, several great questions came up from the audience and I wanted to share them with you. Below are those questions and my best answers. This is an ongoing conversation, and I encourage you to keep the questions coming in via the comments section at the bottom of this page.
Q: What are some of the things that should be covered in the meeting to call it successful?
A: There are a number of things I look for to call a meeting successful. Here are just a few:
- Discover Value – Did you learn more about what the customer cares about?
- Position Value – Were you able to successfully give compelling reasons for why the buyer should choose your product/service?
- Deliver Value – Did you determine compelling outcomes that the customer is looking for from you?
A successful meeting might not lead to a sale right away but it often positions you for another conversation with the buyer as you establish the shared definition of success.
Q: This sounds great but do you personally have an example of where you followed the sales conversations steps and eventually made a sale from it?
A: The best example I have for this is an account that I have managed since my initial meeting with my customer in October of 2014. I met with this C-Level customer for a one-hour introductory meeting. I followed the sales conversations steps and was able to close my first deal with the customer in April of 2015 for $24K. Over the past two years, the revenue for the account has grown to almost $2M annually.
Q: In concept three you mention a six-step meeting structure, could you explain a little further?
A: Here is the six-step meeting structure:
- Sell the Vision
- Provide Examples
Q: At the beginning, you mentioned the increase of social media in the sales process. How much should we as sales professionals focus on building rapport interacting with prospects online?
A: I have really made improving my online presence a focus in 2017. I spend time making sure I have a presence on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. As I mentioned during the webinar, buyers are doing as much homework on you and your products/services as you are doing on your buyer prior to your meeting. An online presence is critical in today’s selling world.
Latest posts by Jim Patton (see all)
- Webinar Q&A | Don’t “Sell” to Your Customers…Listen to Them! - April 18, 2017
- Webinar Q&A | The Power of Outcomes: Leveraging a New Design Point for Training - November 17, 2016