Who should lead the sales process, buying process, or what might more accurately be called “the sales conversation,” now that the “processes” are more nonlinear than linear, let alone predictable?
When you are sitting across from your dream client, one of you has helped dozens, hundreds, and maybe some greater number of clients decide to change, determine the right solution, have the conversation necessary to bring their teams on board, build out the milestones of the change initiative, execute the solution, and trouble shoot that execution to make sure it delivered the outcomes.
The other person (or more likely, people) sitting on the other side of the table may have purchased what you sell once or, if they have been in a certain role for a long time, maybe a half-dozen times, a good part of those experiences the result of not choosing the right partner.
Of the two of you, who should know more about what conversations need to take place to get the best framing of the problem or challenge or opportunity with which the client needs help? Who has more of these conversation across more different companies and in varying industry verticals?
Who knows what commitments the client needs to make the best decision and in what order they should make them? Who needs to be in the room when you frame the current state and future state? Who needs to contribute to the solution on the client’s side if they want consensus? Who needs help executing and what changes are they going to make on their side?
The client has much to add this conversation, and they know their company (and the players) far better than you do. They may also have some idea of how to navigate within their company to get things done. But that experience doesn’t replace the need to have the right conversations at the right time with the right people and the right outcomes.
One of the best ways to create value for your dream clients is to help them have the right conversations and make the right commitments necessary to get what they want.