Whether you are a sales manager or a sales person, I am sure you have heard someone say, or you have said yourself, “this deal looks just like another deal.” Whenever I hear this, and I have heard it a million times (so often that I’ve given it a name – “the same” syndrome), I always have to ask the following questions:
- Are you selling to the same people? Are you selling to all the same people that you sold to before? Did they ALL move to this new line of business or new organization? If not, then how could the deal be “the same” if it involves different people?
- Do they have the same problem? Do these people have the exact same infrastructure, business objectives, priorities and similar budgets?
- Do they have the same experiences, successes and failures? This is when I ask do these same people have the exact same experiences, same risk tolerances, etc.
If none of the above is true, then how can they be the same
When we view a deal in such generic terms, it should tell you and your manager that much more discovery is required to truly understand what the client is trying to achieve, what has worked/not worked in the past, and all of the other nuances that make us realize we are selling to unique human beings, not robots.
Have you ever prepped for a presentation or demonstration and were so excited to show your newest feature? You honed your skills to truly understand it and when you presented this “new” feature, the customer said: “We’ve been able to do that for years!” And then the wind is out of your sails and you wonder where to go from there.
Think about it. If we take the human factor out of the sales process, then what are we actually selling? Features and functions
that are important to us
, not the client.
Your clients have business objectives and goals they are trying to achieve, risks they are willing or not willing to take, timeframes and budgets to meet – you get the point. Don’t fall into the trap of “the same” syndrome by making assumptions that one deal looks just like another. Instead, treat your customers with the respect they deserve by understanding the uniqueness of their situation and the solution you’re presenting to them. Remember – their success ultimately leads to yours!
Janice Mars, principal and founder of SalesLatitude, is a senior business and sales executive with more than 30 years of experience helping companies build successful sales teams. She has parlayed that experience to help her clients to improve their sales processes, accurately forecast revenues, ensure focus on winnable opportunities, and attain consistent results.
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Image courtesy of Michael Elliott at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.