What is it going to take to win your business?

If you must ask, “What is it going to take to win your business?” you have lost the battle.  Pack up and go home.  You need to and should know the answer to that question BEFORE you submit any proposal.

This is a sign of a desperate salesperson.  A person that needs to make quota, save their job, or save the company by making quota.  No matter the reason, value and/or profitability are absence from the equation.  Plus, you have lost control of the sales process, winning any future negotiations, or selling on value through any referrals.

The sales process is structured in a way to determine and define value.  What is most important?  What are the reasons for someone to change?  What are the risks if someone does not change?

Here are a few steps to keep in mind.  You cannot take any shortcuts and skip any steps.  Because you will be paying for them later, and the price is a loss sale – or one at no profit.  The choice is yours!

  • I know. Your research may be old and expired. Your bias will limit the questions you ask and the answers you receive. Don’t start your conversation out by telling the prospect how much you know.  You will most likely be wrong.  Place the attention on them and away from you.  People buy for their reasons not yours.  Use your time to find out their motivation.  This is your opportunity.  Don’t waste it by telling how much you know.
  • Stop helping. Starting with, “We help companies like yours…” only causes the prospects guard to be raised.  By helping prospects you are defining a relationship of rescuing them – and that puts all future obligations on you to change the outcome, with them making no contribution to changing their actions.  You are doomed and just bought yourself an active membership in the blame game.  Prospects don’t want to give up control, and you helping them takes away all their control, as if they were to surrender to you.
  • Don’t assume. You don’t know what is important, how much they will or won’t pay, their motivation, or timeline, until you start asking questions.  When you deliver a presentation, and don’t have the reasons for them to change, the consequences if they don’t take action, and the timeline of implementation; the only outcome is more stalls and put-offs.

Solutions and benefits must stick to problems in order to have value.  No problem, no matter how great the solution equals no sale.  No sale equals no revenue.  Which translates to no commission.

Keep the spotlight of your conversation on the prospect and away from your solutions.  Uncover the impact of inaction, which is your greatest competition.  If you don’t know the reason they want to change and the consequences if they don’t, don’t present a proposal or solutions.  Because they will give you objections, stalls, and put-offs, causing you to desperately say, “What do I have to do to win your business.”  Game over!

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