In the past, if you met or exceeded your sales targets or increased sales volume
for your organization, you had achieved sales success.
However, today’s ideal sales models call for deep engagement with customers — not just closing the deal.
In fact, the experience for both sides of a sales transaction has become more of a mutual fact-finding and problem-solving
process. In addition to delivering relevant products and services, the most successful sales professionals create ideas and knowledge around those product solutions. Sales strategist Scott Edinger suggests that you pose the question, “Would my prospects and customers be willing to pay me for the value of my sales call?” If you’re doing it right, the answer would be yes.
So, how do you, as Edinger encourages, move down the continuum from transactional to consultative relationships? There are three key
areas to address: the good, the bad and the unexplored areas of the customer’s situation.
Every sales pitch should address the customer’s “pain points," but finding the areas of opportunity that haven’t been fully developed yet could yield potential. A Harvard Business Review tip suggests that you point out missed opportunities and untapped possibilities — markets, technologies
and trends — that will allow the customer to grow.
Many clients have areas of weakness that they perceive as relatively benign, but that could create significant problems down the road. As Tim Warren, COO of Booktrack, wrote recently for LinkedIn, you must create a problem instead of a solution. He advises that you understand and tap into the psychological drivers of your customers. “If you create a solution, customers forget about you. Create a problem, and they will keep coming back for more,” he says.
Find ways that your product could address unique needs in your client’s situation, perhaps in ways they hadn’t even considered. Forbes contributor Jim Keenan suggests generating interest and intrigue through the elements of theory, surprise and mystery. Theory highlights
a gap in prospects’ knowledge by asking questions they can’t answer without your input. Surprise is providing unexpected information and insights they weren’t previously aware of or familiar with. Mystery entices prospects with stories and anecdotes that intrigue them enough to ask more questions.
Applying these ideas to your next sales presentation
will help you go beyond the standard sales pitch and delve into the connections that
will help customers form a lasting relationship with you.