Do you know how to strategically create, foster, and leverage your perspectives?
Learning how to be Right on the Money means learning field-tested strategies to adapt fully and thrive in today’s permanently changed marketplace. That’s why I launched this four-part series to look at the range of cold, hard truths you must embrace for success.
So far, I’ve talked about:
- How your brand is your time;
- When it comes to your character, you must define or be defined; and
- You must embrace Critical Mass Influence.
Now for the final point in this series: you must be broad where others are narrow.
To understand this fully, consider the past. Buyers used to have one job: to make the decision to buy from you. Not anymore! Now, they’re researchers and interviewers. They’re skilled at conducting product comparison studies. They look at others’ buying experiences. Those many jobs now also mean many more voices—and an abundance of discrete perspectives—that now shape every buying decision. That’s happening day after day, deal after deal.
4 Ways to Leverage Your Perspectives
1. Sell High, Wide, and Deep
It’s not enough to just cobble together a list of contacts and use a pitch-and-pray strategy. Your prospects are expecting a more meaningful connection now: one that’s earned through sincerity, empathy, and legwork. To get there, you must nurture a community of high-quality relationships with as many people as possible among your customers and among those in their social circles. This includes their trusted advisors, influencers, and professional colleagues.
Don’t just think about the community inside their own company; think about their broader industry and geographic communities, too. The bigger the community you nurture, the more perspectives you’ll gain.
2. Bring Balance to Your Thinking
If your social circle in business hasn’t changed much in the last decade, it’s time for a serious reassessment. A wise, informed way to sell and to do business hinges on being able to draw from old ideas as well as new ones. You’re not going to bring balance to your thinking on your own. You must talk to others. Especially those who are outside of your traditional circle.
For instance, when you create new contacts in your customer’s finance department, they’re going to see things quite differently than those in customer service. Both viewpoints are valid and must be considered as you develop solutions for their business. Aim to build relationships with every department affected—directly or indirectly—by your solution.
3. Pathway to Authority
Perspectives give you more contacts. And more contacts mean your network becomes enriched with access to those with decision-making authority. It’s a mistake to just settle on connecting only with people who like what you’re selling. Balance is needed between stakeholders and buyers.
I learned that hard lesson years ago when selling to the US Air Force. I visited all major command groups and earned their buy-in on my solution. Next, I went to the Pentagon to tie a bow on a new deal. But I was stopped in my tracks by a high-ranking general who looked over my work and barked: “It’s nice that all those people are on board, Colleen…but the last time I checked, they all report to me!” Learn from that costly mistake. You’ll hear “Yes!” more often if your connection efforts include those with authority to give you the green light.
4. Sell to Referrals
Our research here at Engage Selling consistently shows that cold leads have a one-in-twenty-five chance of closing…but that a referred lead rockets that average to one in three. That’s a phenomenal improvement. But it hinges on first establishing a strong referral program. Granted, not everyone boasts a client base that can support multiple referrals. Some of you are entering new markets or launching products and services. Don’t despair if that’s your situation. Focus only on the first two tactics I’ve outlined above. The rest of you should ask for referrals…every day. Look for introductions to external partners, customers, and suppliers.
Yes, these are extraordinary and challenging times to be in sales. But there is most certainly a way to thrive! Do that by studying and emulating what top performers out there are doing today—not what they were doing five years ago. Recognize what they all see right now: this new sales landscape is fully digital, massively decentralized, and deeply personal.
People have adapted to doing business differently amid the global pandemic. And for the most part, it’s resulted in new habits that will not be undone. Stop fighting facts! Embrace all of the four cold, hard truths about being Right on the Money, and get ready for an all-new level of stratospheric success in your business.