Updated June 2, 2021
The challenge of the sales process
We have to talk about an important part of the sales process. If you want to get paid the value you deserve for the expertise you have, you have to make sure that your discussions with prospects start with a collaborative dialogue about their needs.
The problem is, though, that most prospects think that they’ve already defined their need.
If they’ve already defined their needs, and they’re just talking to you about a solution, then you will not get the value you deserve. So, how do your salespeople provoke prospects enough to change their thinking – to throw them off the path they’re already on for a solution, and get them to think more about their needs?
Small change, mighty results
I want to focus in on the most interesting part of the sales process - creating a “mash-up” of assertiveness and empathy to engage a prospect about the needs they have. To do that, your salespeople need to be assertive – they need to prove that they know as much about the prospect’s situation as the prospect does, and it will pay off for the prospect to listen to the salesperson. Your salespeople need to do that carefully – if they’re too assertive, then they’ll probably be dismissed. So, they also need to be empathetic. And that’s the hardest challenge your salespeople have today – how do you be assertive enough to get people to talk with you, and empathetic enough that they want to talk with you? That’s the sales process mash-up that every growth business needs to figure out.
Your winning sales strategy
We find the answer to this challenge in the playbook of a Trusted Advisor. Trusted Advisors have independent perspective that the person values (that’s the Advisor part) and the connection and understanding that reassures the person (that’s the Trusted part).
I’ve worked with several clients recently to create “Trusted Advisor Tools” for their people to use in sales discussions to build trust and provoke prospects to question how they’re thinking. The salespeople usually see immediately how valuable these tools are and are enthusiastic to start using them. And many are actually relieved because they haven’t known how to push back against prospects in a supportive way. Every business, and every sales team, needs these tools. When you’re ready to improve your sales process, reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org and we can talk through your situation.