Long gone are the days of simple salesman/client relationships. Today’s client is represented by a management team and/or buying committee, while the salesperson has their own management and sales team. Alliances, partners, and competitors extend the sales cycle and add to its complexity.
An inappropriate purchase can literally bankrupt a company. An extended period of implementation can cause a company to lose their competitive edge, or make them late to market. Either may be fatal to an organization.
Given this complexity, the prospect seeks simplicity from the sales team. However, what happens instead is they make the prospect’s life look even more complex by giving out too much information that doesn’t even relate to the needs of the prospect.
Why? Either the sales team doesn’t know the prospect’s needs, or they are so enamored with their own product they feel compelled to show every feature. There is no excuse for either mistake, and in today’s competitive environment, you’re only allowed one.
Recently in one of our messaging workshops, a participant mentioned he had a presentation scheduled Friday, but was not aware of his prospect’s specific pains. With the help of the group, we identified the top 10 reasons why most prospects consider buying this solution. Within minutes, he converted this list to a fax correspondence and called the prospect. He asked him to prioritize the list and add any other needs that may apply, to maximize the use of time available during Friday’s presentation and demo.
The next day he received a voicemail from the prospect stating how flattered he was by this concern for his needs, as opposed to a “typical” presentation focused on the sell. He added that he would be meeting with the team to ensure the list was a consensus of those who will attend Friday. What a great atmosphere for a salesperson to enter. And to think, all he had to do was ask.
An over abundance of irrelevant information will bore and discourage your prospect, because they are not interested in what the product is, they want to know what it does that will make their life easier.
What if you called a shuttle service for a ride from your hotel to the airport, and prior to scheduling your reservation, you had to listen to all the features of the shuttle vehicle, including; model and year, trunk capacity, wheel span, head room dimensions, sound system specifications, engine cubic inches, etc? Sound bizarre? Well, that’s how it sounds when salespeople recite features and functions that have no relevance to the prospects’ immediate need.The cure?
- Use “Big Pictures” to visually connect your prospects’ dilemma to your solution.
- Dramatize their pain. This emotional anxiety motivates people to take action.
- Articulate the benefits of your solution, highlighting financial, business, and personal value.
- Use Customer Stories that prove these benefits and values with added credibility.
In addition, be aware of your words, voice, and body language during your presentation, as well as the different learning channels present in the audience.
Keep it simple, valuable and engaging – and it will sell.