It was a genuine "ah-ha" moment for me.
"Dave," my colleague began, "the customer is the prize, not the competition."
That one sentence forever changed my approach to selling.
It was 2000 and the company I was working for was implementing Altify's TAS (Targeted Account Selling) sales process. Account Managers and BDMs were creating opportunity plans with vigour, and everyone had deal review meetings to attend.
I was discussing my plan and approach with a peer when he made the above statement. It brought a moment of clarity as I realized I was preparing to win the deal by 'beating' the customer through force of logic, argument and persuasion. My UBV (unique business value) was so compelling, they'd be crazy not to buy from me. I was treating the customer as the one to beat, not the prize to be won.
How often do you hear sales people saying things like 'smart organisations get it', or 'it amazes me they are still in business when they make such silly buying decisions'? I imagine it is more often than you realise.
Whenever I hear comments like that, I cringe a little on the inside. In the modern world of selling it's the sales professional's job to help the customer achieve their goals. If sales professionals bring insights, ideas and measurable value, rather than arguments, features and discounts, they will be in a much better position to win the customer.
Take action now. Review your approach. Are your clients your prize or someone to beat? Make changes to ensure they are a prize, and you will sell quicker, bigger and more often.
If you want help to improve your, or your team's, sales productivity, drop me a line or give me a call. I'd love to help.