Answering the “Why Now” Question

Selling to C-Level Executives: Answering the "Why Now" Question

A sales rep at a medical equipment company recently told me he lost a deal for an MRI machine, not to another MRI competitor, but to a “parking lot.” I’ll explain.

When I asked him what he meant, he explained that the hospital c-level executive he was working with decided they could improve patient throughput, satisfaction, and revenue if they spent $1 million updating their parking lot instead of purchasing a new MRI machine. This story illustrated to me that when executives get involved in purchase decisions, there are far more considerations that enter into the buying process—and far more “competitors” for the budget you’re seeking than you may realize.

That ups the ante for your proposals quite a bit, and it means you need to build a business case to gain executive buy-in that’s even better at creating urgency and demonstrating impact—two areas in which many salespeople struggle today.

In part one of a two-part series with the Journal of Sales Transformation, I looked at where business proposals are falling short and failing to create the urgency needed to answer the following question c-level executives are asking: Why should I buy now?

This follow-up piece looks at the research simulation Corporate Visions conducted with a professor at the Warwick Business School to determine the most effective message for the “Why Now” moment—when you need to make an impact on buyers who might not care how your products and services work, but want to know how you can help them drive business value.

Check out the part two of the article: “What Gets Executives to Act?”

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Tim Riesterer

Chief Strategy Officer

Tim Riesterer, Chief Strategy Officer at Corporate Visions, is dedicated to helping companies improve their conversations with prospects and customers to win more business. A visionary researcher, thought leader, keynote speaker, and practitioner with more than 20 years of experience in marketing and sales management, Riesterer is co-author of four books, including Customer Message Management, Conversations that Win the Complex Sale, The Three Value Conversations, and The Expansion Sale.

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