In order to engage business owners and executives you must speak to their self interests. Focus on them not you. The sad reality is busy executives don’t have any interest in your company, your company’s credibility, your success in the market, or your product’s history. They are 100% focused on their own self interest. Only if you perfectly match your message to the most immediate executive interests, fears, concerns and pains, can you capture their attention. Sadly, most sales people are too product and company oriented in their approach too early on.
I am fond of saying: “Get over yourself!” Selling successful means forgoing what you want to say and focusing instead on what your prospects want to hear. This is a mindset that you must embrace each and every time you pick up the phone.
It’s worth remembering that people don’t always buy for the reasons we think they do. How can you best find out what motivates each new prospect to buy? There’s really only one way: by asking questions rather than providing information.
Here is an idea:
Step #1Go to your best customers and ask them why they bought your products. Be sure to survey like executives as your prospects. .For example, if your prospects are CFO’s ask your CFO clients, if your prospects are CEO’s ask your CEO clients. You need to understand why your clients bought your products from the perspective of the decision makers you sell to.
Ask them specifically:
* Why did you buy our product?
* What problem did it solve for you?
* How is it helping you make money or save money?
* Why us rather than the competition?
* What was going on at your company that made you start looking for a product like ours?
Step #2 Scour your existing case studies and testimonials for information why customers have bought in the past. Pay particular attention to what problems your product or service solved. As an aside, its amazing to me how may sales people present case studies to their clients as references and proof points, yet they have actually never read the information themselves! Make sure you read them word for word and know the details.
Step #3 After you have completed step 1 and 2 with at least 5 clients and have read at least 5 case studies, look at your data for trends. You should find 2-3 common points, problems and fears. It is these items that you will use to engage a decision maker.
Step #4 Use your research as an advantage by honestly sharing these common problems that you have helped solve. The key is to pick those 2-3 problems that your company has solved for each specific industry or executive level you sell to. These problems must be specific enough to be meaningful, but broad enough that the majority of your prospects can relate to them. If you have done your research correctly you will know to 95% accuracy what these issues are and so, the executive will engage eagerly. Try something like:
“Mary, business owners like you tell me that we’ve been able to save them money on their printing costs. Depending on your printing requirements, it might be possible that we can do the same for you. Are printing costs a concern for you?”
“Mary, my clients in the oil and gas industry – CIO’s like yourself – tell me that we’ve helped them solve problems like the high costs associated with downtime due to new viruses being spread on their servers, the constant need to increase disk space due to the massive amounts of SPAM email coming through their systems, and the high costs associated with new security software acquisitions. Which of these is the most important to you?”
Your actions for the week: Make sure that your mindset going into the call is focused on the customer not on you.
If you have not done steps 1-4 already, use this week to truly discover what your customers bought your products and e prepared to discuss the reasons with your prospects. Be prepared for every call! An unpracticed call sounds contrived, and nothing turns an executive off more than a than a salesperson sounding like a salesperson. Your goal is to sound like a peer.
Dedicated to increasing your sales,