On today’s episode of The Sales Evangelist, we’ll talk about value prospecting and how we create opportunities when we help people recognize the value in the products or services we’re offering.
In 2009, I went on a school trip to Santa Barbara to connect with industry and learn more about the world of startups. One morning, we were scheduled to leave the hotel at 9 but a friend and I had ventured out to find breakfast, and there was no way we were going to make it back in time.
As we were walking back to the hotel praying we’d make it on time, we passed a guy loading plywood that had fallen off his truck into the road. We stopped to help him, and when the job was finished, we asked him for a ride to our hotel.
He gladly gave us a ride, and we made it back in time.
Now imagine if we had run up to random cars in the intersection knocking on windows and asking people to give us a ride back to our hotel.
Do you think people would have been willing to do it?
They probably wouldn’t have, but since we helped the truck driver meet a need, we delivered value to him. He trusted us because we helped him and he saw that we weren’t a threat to him.
He was more than willing to reciprocate because we had helped him first.
Many of us do the equivalent of knocking on windows and asking for rides when we connect with people on LinkedIn. Instead of looking for ways to deliver value or pointing out how our product or service could benefit them, we jump in an go straight for the sale.
If we begin by delivering value to them, just like we helped the surfer truck driver load plywood, we would find ourselves with high-quality prospects who are like to reciprocate.
You’ve probably seen an outreach of some sort where a seller explained to you that his company has been in business for 15 years and he’d like to set an appointment with you to talk about his product.
It just doesn’t work.
Instead, go to your prospect’s LinkedIn or the company’s website to uncover a challenge the company is facing or a problem you can help solve. Focus your outreach on the prospect.
Congratulate him on a new position as CFO. Then send him a link to an article like, “10 Things New CFOS Wished They Knew Before Landing the Job.”
If your company helps CFOs and you have software that can help him be successful, now you’re delivering value. You’re loading plywood in the back of his truck.
Continue your flow process, and after you’ve built value, go for the ask. Tell him you’d love to see if there is an interest because you’ve worked with other CFOs just like him and this software has benefitted them greatly.
You delivered value and you came as a friend. You built the relationship and then you extended the invitation.
The alternative is that you send a thousand emails out talking all about yourself and your product. You might find a couple of people who raise their hands to say they are interested, and maybe they’ll even buy from you.
Think about the time you wasted. You sent a thousand emails for one appointment.
Instead, if you load wood into the back of their trucks and build a relationship first, then you can use your cadence process, together with prospect.io, to connect with people who are more likely to convert.
The message was the same for the students I spoke to this week in Idaho. Some of them will connect with alumni a week or a month before graduation hoping to find help getting a job.
They won’t likely be successful.
If, however, they build relationships with us over the course of time and help us load plywood into our trucks, then they’ll be at the top of our list when they need something from us.
Be the person who builds value.
Do what you know
As sellers, many of us know this stuff, but we don’t do it.
If people always did what we knew was best, we’d be the healthiest people on the planet. Sellers don’t always do what we know, but if we did, we’d improve our results.
I’m here to remind you to take advantage of the knowledge that you have. As you reach out today, determine whether you’re building value and whether you’re creating opportunities for yourself and your buyer with value prospecting.
“Value Prospecting” episode resources
This episode is brought to you in part by Maximizer CRM, personalized CRM that gives you the confidence to improve your business and increase profits. To get a demonstration of maximizer, go to the sales evangelists.com/maximizer.
Click on the link to get a free demo of what Maximizer CRM can do for you. Maximizer is intuitive, simple, and personable. Maximizer integrates your marketing campaign as well as your CRM, and it works whether you’re a small organization or a large one. It works throughout the whole organization and it’s customizable to the way you sell.
This episode is also brought to you in part by prospect.io, a powerful sales automation platform that allows you to build highly personalized, cold email campaigns. To learn more, go to prospect.io/tse. It will help you with your outbound to expand your outreach and it allows you to set it and forget it. Your prospecting will never ever be the same.
We’ll use prospect.io in the upcoming semester of TSE Hustler’s League to focus on prospecting. We’ll give you insights and tools that will help you gain new customers and provide training and strategies that you can implement today to ensure constant flow in your pipeline.
Check out TSE Hustler’s League and apply to see if it’s a good fit.
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