Oftentimes sales people make the mistake of sticking to the same sales pitch over and over and never determine what matters most to the prospects they are selling to. They neglect to “connect the dots” and present business value in terms their potential customers can relate to. Worse yet, they bore their customers with features and functions of their products without ever conveying the relevance of their solution to their customers’ most critical business problems.
While evaluating any type of expensive or complex solution, no executive empowered to spend money really cares about the exhaustive features of a product. They are only interested in the impact the product will have on their business after they buy it. They also want and expect that their sales rep understands their challenges and confidently articulates and demonstrates how their solution is relevant and the value they will receive. If you’re unable to map your solution to the basic priorities of your customer in a simplistic way, you’ll probably lose the sale. This can happen even if you have the very best solution.
For instance, let’s say you have a product that can automatically turn off the lights in unoccupied offices after a certain period of inactivity. You might be tempted to go on and on preaching about how your product works. You might even mention how your solution utilizes motion sensors in each office that are linked to a central monitoring station with each sensor configured with special parameters that control when the lights will go off. That’s a mouthful! While those details are interesting to some, they do not effectively convey the value or relevance your product has. A far better approach would be to say to your prospect “this solution will enable you to achieve your goal of reducing your electric bill by $2m this year while eliminating wasted energy. In fact, the company right next door paid for the same product in just 90 days with the savings they had on their electric bill.”
Which message do you think would be more important to the person who will be signing your contract? Virtually every executive buyer wants to know about the solution to a problem and how a product they purchase will help their business. When they get it, they’re much more likely to find money for a purchase.
The kind of value that you and your products provide can come in many forms and is really dependent upon what your products actually do. No matter what they do, if you are unable to explain the relevance in terms your customer will understand, you are likely to struggle and fail with your sales opportunity. Here are some essential things to do during your sales process to be sure you provide meaningful value:
- Determine the business impact that’s specific to your solution and how it’s tied to your customer’s challenge
- Know who you are selling to and modify your sales pitch to align to your audience
- Present the facts about the savings and other benefits your product will provide
- Show specific examples of how your solution has helped other customers solve similar problems
- Communicate in simple terms that will be easily understood and directly relate to your customer’s business
Following these tips from the beginning of each new sales opportunity will ensure that you are able to connect the dots for your customer and increase your chances to close your deal.
By Paul M. Balzano
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