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How you handle each buyer interaction is a lot like how you play your golf game. I recently read an article in Golf Digest on how to change your mindset when playing golf. I have read many articles with similar titles, but this one really spoke to me. The premise was that every time you walk up to the ball, think a positive thought. Then count the number of positive versus negative thoughts. Not hole by hole, but stroke for stroke. Quite naturally, this got me thinking about selling.
What if you determined for each email, phone call, proposal, demo or any other interaction, that you are truly focused on the buyer and not on you, your product/service or your company? I know how much this advice has helped my golf (and sales) game. Focusing on positive thoughts on every shot (or buyer interaction) gets me in the right mindset for a positive outcome. Let’s see how this would work when selling.
Email is often the first buyer interaction. Look at each email you send to a prospective buyer. Is it more about you or them? Is it positioned specifically to the recipient or is it generic? Ask yourself why they would open and read your email versus all the others they receive? Look carefully: is your value statement buried somewhere at the end of the email? Focus on the buyer by understanding how crazy busy they are. Would they delete your email after reading it or, worse yet, before reading it?
Your first buyer interaction may be a phone call. Similar to your initial email, your first phone call to executive buyers must be specific and relevant to them. This requires some research and validation. You don’t have to be 100% correct, but you do need to stand out from the crowd by showing that you know something about their business. Don’t give them generic pitches that are all about you or your company, products and services. Stay focused on the buyer.
How many times have you started your proposal or demo showing the number of clients you have and a list of logos of those that you believe are the most similar to the buyer? Do you use a proposal or a demo as a way to get in the door? If you are, then you are using the proposal or demo as a qualification tool. And, you most likely are not focusing on the buyer. Chances are, you know very little about who is involved from the buyer’s perspective. It’s like throwing sh@t at the wall hoping something sticks – a total waste of your time and your prospective buyer’s time.
Think about every buyer interaction as you move through your sales process and gain understanding and validation of where your customer is in their buying journey. As David Brock stated in a recent blog post, buyers don’t think about their buying journey per se, but they are definitely focus on what they have to accomplish and when.
If you are not thinking about or making efforts to understand their problems and what’s important to them, what they need to be successful and meet their timelines, then what are you doing? Pitching stuff to sell to keep you busy? Of course not. Make each buyer interaction count.
Focus on the buyer with every interaction and you will be well on your way to being a top performing sales person. Those that separate themselves from the pack typically spend their time more on the customer/prospect and personalize each buyer interaction to achieve best positive outcomes. They end up having happier customers, more referrals, and greater recognition from customers and their company. And, they typically make more money. Try it and let me know how it works for you.