It’s not good enough to give a potential customer a compelling business case with data charts and graphs. No large B2B deal has ever been done from the spreadsheet alone.
We don’t want to just make people feel sick about all the money they’re wasting or new profit their missing we need to engage both the rational and emotional side of these individuals’ brains. We need to instil disruptive change which is just as much about following your gut as it is about following your analytical head.
Step one – Introduction
The first part of any sales conversation starts off with uncovering what our buyers key challenges are. Now where most sales people go wrong is that they ask the question “what is keeping you up at night?” or something as cheesy a cliché as that
Where most sales people go wrong is that they ask the question “what is keeping you up at night?” or something as cheesy and as cliché as that.
If we’re leading with insights, we are gonna lay out that what we are seeing and hearing is key challenges at similar companies to the one that we are engaging with. We need to at the very least share anecdotes from other companies of the highest concerns but at best share physical data on this.
You can then conclude the step of the process by asking the prospect their reaction to what you’ve shared. Perhaps ask them if there are any other challenges that they would add to the list that you have outlined.
All are trying to do on the step is explained the customer that you understand their world. You not here to waste their time by asking discovery questions, you’re making a hypothesis about their pain points and asking them to give you straight feedback as to whether you’re on the right tracks or not.
Now the average at this point when this season-opening dive straight in with their product. This is not a good idea. There is no reason for the prospect to care about is just quite yet…
Step two – Unexpected viewpoint
This step might be the most important part of the whole of this workshop. You build off the challenges your customer just acknowledged they had, but then introduce a new perspective that connects those challenges to an even bigger problem or opportunity.
Your goal here is to catch the customer off-guard with an unexpected viewpoint, to surprise them, give them a headline, to make them curious and wanting to know more.
Your goal here is to catch the customer off-guard with an unexpected viewpoint, to surprise them, give them a headline, to make them curious and wanting to know more. Remember you’re not running to get them to say “I agree that is what were currently working on” you wanted to say “oh shit”. If they agree with you then you haven’t actually taught them anything new. If you haven’t taught them anything there is no unique value to the conversation you are having.
This approach is not for the weak. You really need to make a quantum leap here make the customer curious for more information. You’ve given them an unexpected viewpoint.
Step three – Rationalising
In this step you start to lay out the business case for why your unexpected viewpoint is worth discussing with your customer.
Now it’s time for the data, graphs and charts that quantify the true, often hidden costs of the problem that they had overlooked. You almost want them to feel like you’re drowning in data over a problem they didn’t even realise they had five minutes ago.
The reaction you’re looking for here is “wow, I had no idea how much this costing us.”
Step four – Emotionalising
We now have to give the customer some emotional impact to make sure that they see themselves in the story you are telling. You want to remove the objection that they think they are different to the other people you have seen with this problem.
You have to paint a picture of how other companies, just like their their own, went down an extremely painful path that they will recognise immediately.
You have to now start storytelling. To learn more about storytelling, check out the storytelling workshop here in the sales school stop in a nutshell, you have to paint a picture of how other companies, just like their customers, went down an extremely painful path that your customer will recognise immediately.
You have to explain how other companies feel about situations and problems. You’re wanting the customer to replay the same scenario you’re describing in their own head.
Step five – Solution
This step is a familiar one to B2B sales professionals like you will stop with now convinced the customer problem, so we got to step it up a gear and convince them that we have the solution. This is a step-by-step review of all the things they would have to do in order to solve the painful problem they have.
At this point we are still explaining that we have a solution for them rather than explaining that we are the person should buy it from. Don’t rush this. Before they buy from you, the customer has to buy that there is a solution in general.
Step six – Your solution
This is where you dive into the usual selling process that you would start with. You explain your unique capabilities, unique selling points and how you can personally help the customer solve their challenges. It’s important that the word “supplier” or “purchase” only comes in at this step of the conversation.
It’s important that the word “supplier” or “purchase” only comes in at this step of the conversation.
Remember the goal here, at the end of the day everything is built upon the idea that if you can become the supplier that can teach your buyers something, and not sell them stuff, and the sales will happen organically further down the line.