One way to better understand the modern sales approach is by focusing on the decision your prospective client is considering, or the decision they have already made, without having chosen a sales organization, the salesperson they want to work with, or the potential solution they will eventually buy.
Many of these decisions are rare, complex, and offer the possibility of getting it wrong. When the decision is linked to a change that is necessary to improve some important outcome, decision makers and buyers seek a consultative salesperson. Even if they don’t know they need a One-Up salesperson with the experience they are missing, they will instinctively gravitate toward someone with those qualities.
Empowering Decision-Making in Sales: A Consultative Approach
Faux sales experts, who have never had a quota requiring enterprise-level sales to reach their goals, will chafe at this idea. But if you want to know how selling works, enabling your contacts to make the decision you would make for them is one way to sell better.
This is true even if the client hasn’t asked you to make the decision on their behalf. This means you must transfer your knowledge, experience, and insights to your contacts to help them gain the confidence and certainty to make the right decision that will ensure they succeed in changing and improving their business results.
Bridging the Knowledge Gap: Tailored Sales Insights
You sell whatever it is you sell every day. This places you in conversations with your prospective clients and those you have won. You developed your experience over time, picking up crucial insights from one client conversation that allowed you to recognize exactly what the next client needed to move forward.
Day to day, you engage in conversations that build a knowledge bank of insights your interactions with clients have taught you, preparing you to help prospective clients avoid mistakes and missteps threatening their results. A lesser salesperson will be more concerned about selling the client their solution, failing to help with the decision-making.
Your contacts rarely buy what you sell because they are not required to make significant changes often. By helping so many clients through similar decisions, you have acquired experience and insights that cause your contacts to look to you for help. For the same reason you ask your client questions to learn what you need to know, your contacts ask you questions to learn what they need to be able to change without fear.
Essential Insights for Informed Decision-Making in Sales
What follows here is a list of areas of interest to your prospects. It's a good start on executing this increasingly important sales strategy. By introducing these conversations, you open the possibility of sharing your experienced perspective where and when it makes sense. In some sales scenarios, you may need to prompt your stakeholder to start a conversation. In other cases, the questions clients pose will allow you to allocate time to work on some important idea necessary to the eventual decision.
Facilitating the Buyer’s Journey: Navigating Decision Points
One of the more important needs your contact has is an understanding of the nature of the challenge that is causing them to change. They must grasp why their company must pivot to an approach that will get them back in business, one better than what they used to do.
Risk Management in Sales: Identifying and Avoiding Pitfalls
When you are aware of risks that will harm your client, you are obligated to identify these risks and how best to avoid them. The time you spend selling has shown you what mistakes your clients make, and how their poor decisions lead to negative implications that end up in a disaster.
Expert Decision-Making: When to Step In
Imagine your client asks you to make the decision for them. Your many interactions with dozens or hundreds of clients puts you in a better position to make the decision they are facing. They have limited experience with this type of change, so they know some things, but they are missing key information that might perfect their decision.
The truth here is that when you use a sales approach that essentially has you making the decision, the result is that your insights and business acumen guide the client toward success. Put yourself in your client’s position of being forced to make a change without having the knowledge or experience to be confident in your choice. You would want an expert who has the authority and experience that could eliminate your uncertainty and give you confidence.
Strategic Sales Execution: Building Competency and Trust
Leaving this article, read through it again and meditate on the idea of being responsible for your client’s decision. You can execute this by organizing your insights and experiences. Start slowly and introduce this strategy, practicing it until you gain the competency that will have your clients buying from you, as you were more helpful than your peers.