Dion Travagliante runs Madison One Consulting, a consulting practice where he solves problems for SAS businesses. He said he loves the fact that sellers have latitude in their careers and he loves the chase of finding the potential customer and then uncovering the issue and working to solve it.
People have a preconceived notion that sales is just talking with no science, rhyme, or reason behind it, but he calls it a challenging world that you can train yourself to succeed in.
Sellers often struggle to stand out against other competitors and they struggle against being viewed as simply a commodity. The key is to become the winner of the account.
Dion defines value as improvement in a client or prospect’s individual situation. That centers on solving problems. Any company that is selling something originated around the idea of solving someone else’s problem.
That means as a sales rep, you’re a steward of your company’s solution in the marketplace. That should free you to talk to anyone about the challenges they are facing.
Flip the script. There will always be people who perceive salespeople as slick operators who try to jam products down people’s throats. No one wants to have that persona.
Instead, approach every customer as someone with a pain point whose problem you’d like to solve. If you do, you’ll be better than 95 percent of the sellers out there because you’ll be thinking about someone else.
Watch for these 3 crucial signs you need to add more value.
1. Negotiating price
When you’re talking with a prospect and they start negotiating price during the sales cycle. Do not go down the rabbit hole of arguing price.
The worst position you can be in as a sales rep is negotiating against yourself. If the prospect wants to lower the price, it becomes a game of limbo: how low can you go? Instead of just acquiescing, you want to push back on that. They are telling you that they don’t see the inherent value in the price you’ve determined for your product.
You can never negotiate against your own price, but you can flip the script.
If, for example, a single client averages $60,000 and your product costs $20,000, the purchase pays for itself three times over. If your product can speed up the process, the relevant issue is how much money they’ll derive from using your solution.
If the person you’re dealing with is an intermediary and they insist on dropping the price, what they are saying is that they don’t feel confident taking this solution at this price point to the decision makers.
The quicker path is to lower the price. Instead, arm them with more things so they look like the hero when they show up to present it.
2. Seeking referrals
When your prospect asks you for a referral, what he’s really saying is that he’s interested in what you’re selling and he wants to continue down the path, but he wants external validation.
Mike Brooks, who calls himself Mr. Inside Sales, wrote a book called The Ultimate Book of Phone Scripts where he shares 500 scripts that you can use to address objections. He suggests acknowledging that you’d be happy to connect the customer with a host of satisfied customers but then asking what sticking points still exist.
They want someone else to verify that they should buy this because we’re all somewhat tribal in nature. Get out in front of it.
Your own self-limiting beliefs can prompt you to negotiate with a client instead of seeking to provide enough value to get them across the finish line.
Practice saying that phrase so that it becomes second-nature. Because 90 percent of decisions are made with the subconscious mind, you should train your mind to respond this way automatically.
Courage isn’t the absence of anxiety or fear; it’s acting in spite of it. The people who improve are those that put themselves in uncomfortable scenarios. Human beings learn by pain.
3. Status quo
When you’ve done the discovery call and you’re in the demo and the prospect says, “You know, I think we’re going to stay with our current solution,” that’s an indicator that you haven’t provided enough value. The prospect is telling you that it seems like a lot of work to transition to your option, so they are going to stay where they are.
They are telling you that you haven’t exhibited enough value to drive them to switch. Sales decisions are made emotionally and then justified logically.
Todd Caponi, in his book The Transparency Sale, talks about the psychology of sales and the fact that if your customer’s logic is preventing them from closing the deal, you need to stoke some emotional flames.
You must provide enough value to make switching worthwhile.
Best sales reps
The best sales reps try new things. They put themselves into difficult scenarios that allow them to learn. They also end up selling more.
Always think about the prospects and their solutions. Get out of your own way and help your prospect solve a problem and better his solution.
Ask pointed questions. Figure out the plight. You’ll come off as more genuine than if you toss around buzzwords.
“3 Crucial Signs You Need to Add More Value” episode resources
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