I’m going to speak to salespeople as a buyer today. I’m going to plead with you for a moment. It’s a conversation that needs to be had.
As your buyer, I have to warn you – you may not like what you hear. Truth be told, I’m not trying to preach. I’m just trying to be straight with my point of view.
As your buyer, please, understand VALUE IS MINE. You can write a prospect profile and uncover the wants I’m most likely to have. You can try to understand through research what I need. But, when it boils down to it, what I deem to be important in my life and business is mine. What I hold in high regard, what I see as useful to pursuing my vision, and what I make central to my life is not yours. You cannot define it for me.
You may have been able to define value for me in the past. You held the information and most of the cards up until about 15 years ago. But, now I have as much or more access than you to much of the raw information I need.
(For a great discussion of the previous “age of information asymmetry” vs. today’s “age of information parity”, check out Daniel Pink’s To Sell is Human – fascinating read.)
Don’t tell me smugly on a first call that in order to ensure my growth strategy I should value 50% more up-time of my servers and expect me to swoon. Don’t pitch me in your first three sentences that you can get up and running 60 days faster than your competitors and think that you MUST be the obvious choice for me. If you have the audacity to walk in and tell me that with your service, I can sell my company for 3x the current value in five years, and then live out the rest of my days on the beach, I may ask you to leave.
Because frankly, soon I won’t have any servers, I like taking my time in big implementations to make sure things are right, and retirement is not my idea of a good time.
Value is mine.
I admit, as a buyer I need help uncovering value sometimes. I actually enjoy these conversations. They make me think. They satisfy my curiosity. Looking at things in a variety of ways is a must for me. People who ask good and thoughtful questions help me with this.
That’s how I cultivate my best relationships, people who ask great questions, provide strong sounding boards and are genuinely interested in what I’m doing. I can then do the same for them…hence, a relationship. Isn’t that the same with you?
It’s this way because systematically and consistently identifying and solving problems is essential for sustaining success for my business, my family, and my life in general. New and better paths to success are always necessary for me to grow.
I do get it. You need to pique my interest to spark a conversation. I’m not saying you shouldn’t assume anything about me. Frankly, I expect you to do some research about me and make some educated guesses about what you think I may value. No worries there. I understand. That’s important to get me engaged.
But, don’t stay there. Don’t rely on it. Because I guarantee … I’m an original. What I value, what our corporation values and how we come to buying decisions is a one of a kind process. You need to walk that process with me. If you ask me about it, I will likely let you in … especially if you are sincere, good at asking questions and have something that can deliver what I want with the impact I seek.
Get to know what I value. Then share your expertise. Please. Because then, and only then, will I trust you to hold what I value dear. Then you can lead me to the right solution. Then you can serve our mutual goals for growth.
Just remember – Value is mine.
I will share it with you. I’ll even co-create it with you. Just make sure you ask.
Floriss Group is committed to helping organizations build Growth Multipliers – sales and customer-facing team members who compete and win as servant leaders. For more thoughts and writings on the topic, please click to connect.
Serve well. Lead well. Sell well.