In Competition, Ideal Customer, Pricing

Donald Kelly, Sales PodcastSometimes the logical approach doesn’t make sense, just as in the story of David and Goliath it seemed impossible to believe that the shepherd boy could beat the giant.

In sales, we sometimes have to be a bit irrational. We must think outside the box.

Today we’ll discuss how unorthodox thinking can help us take down some pretty significant giants. It can also help us win some pretty decent accounts.

Logical approach

When the giant Goliath demanded that the Israelites send out their best warrior, it didn’t make sense for them to send David. He wasn’t the fastest or the biggest.

He was a little farm guy tending sheep, and he wasn’t the typical warrior type.

Too often in sales we default to the same logical approach that sales reps have been using for years. Instead of thinking outside the box, we choose the most rational solution to the problem.

Imagine you’re selling TVs and you’re meeting with a client that has a good idea of what they need and what they want. It’s possible, though, that the client’s perception of the problem may not even be the real issue. Worse yet, their solution to the problem may not be the best one.

In the case of David and Goliath, if the Israelites had sent the best warrior into battle to try to outperform the giant, the best warrior would likely have been killed.

Unorthodox approach

David used an approach that had never been used before. He used a sling and a stone to take down the giant, and the approach was unexpected.

In the situation with the client and the TV, he may assume that he needs a TV because it has always been the best solution in the past. Perhaps, though, the best solution is a projector, but the client doesn’t realize it’s even a possibility.

What if you forget about the TV for a minute and consider other possibilities: smartphones or tablets, or even podcasts. If the goal is for the client to find a form of entertainment, TV isn’t the only option.

Sales reps who ask the right questions can differentiate themselves. They can challenge the status quo and help the buyer to see us in a different light.

Risky decisions

I was reading a book called Selling to the C-Suite and the author mentioned that executives will often make risky decisions if there’s a clear plan for that decision. Most executives routinely get what they want.

In many cases, their team members fail to offer unique proposals because they are afraid of getting fired.

In this case, an educated seller may propose an option that’s a little riskier than just selling the executive a television. The executive may be so busy running his business that he hasn’t researched TVs or other options.

Your goal should be to inform yourself about the industry, the client, the type of business, and the problem. Come to the table as an expert and offer unique ways to solve the client’s problem.

Memorable actions

David explained to Saul that because he had killed lions and bears in the past, he was equipped to take down a giant. If Saul was seeking a victory that would make the opponents his servants, wouldn’t it be worthwhile to consider David’s proposal?

David accomplished exactly what he said he would, and the result is a story that has survived for thousands of years.

Will your clients remember you and your heroic efforts or will you be just another sale rep? Will you be the one who offered them a cheaper price? Or will you be the one who offered a unique approach that turned the organization around?

Studying industries

Know your client’s industry well. Study it. Understand the business left and right.

Instead of trying to sell to 10 million different industries, focus on the top three or five and master those industries. Become an expert in those niches. Then focus on those people.

That doesn’t mean you won’t sell to those other industries. It simply means that you won’t focus on those industries. Invest your efforts into the industries that will give you the best bang for your buck.

Read industry magazines, and watch YouTube videos. Spend time on activities that will help you become more effective.

When you do, you’ll stand out from the competitors. Because you’ll bring different ideas, different strategies, and different tactics, you’ll earn the respect of your prospects.

Bring resources, examples, and share your past experiences with your prospects. Explain to your clients why they must choose the option you’re offering.

“David and Goliath” episode resources

This episode is brought to you in part by our TSE Certified Sales Training Program, which teaches you to improve your sales skills, find more customers, build stronger value, and close more deals.

The next semester begins in April.

If you’re not familiar with the TSE Certified Sales Training Program, it’s a program designed to help brand new sales reps, as well as those who have been selling forever. The 12-week module offers videos you can watch at your own pace, as well as the option to join a group discussion. It’s broken into three sections: finding, building value, and closing. It’s amazing and it’s fun!

This episode is also brought to you in part by mailtag.io, a Chrome browser extension for Gmail that allows you to track and schedule your emails. It’s super easy, it’s helpful, and I recommend that you try it out.

You’ll receive real-time alerts anyone opens an email or clicks a link.

The episode is also brought to you by prospect.io, a sales automation platform that allows you to send cold emails in a personalized manner. To find out more about how it can help you automate your sales process, go to prospect.io/tse. Your prospecting will never be the same.

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