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Sales Success: Master Elite Sales Strategies for Value Creation and Consultative Selling

Transform your sales game by leveraging the One-Up approach, a method that ensures you always stay ahead of your clients' needs and expectations.

Elite Sales Strategies: A Guide to Being One-Up, Creating Value, and Becoming Truly Consultative, published in April 2022, provides strategies to help salespeople become One-Up.

One year earlier, I had debuted the concept of being One-Up in a 75-minute keynote at the Outbound Conference. I was concerned the audience might believe that being One-Up was some form of pressure or manipulation. However, being One-Up is neither a pressure tactic nor a way to control your client. During my time on stage, I watched the audience smile as I explained the concept.

What makes a person One-Up is that they have greater knowledge and experience than their client. Because you sell every day, you help your clients better understand their problems. Being One-Up means you are obligated to help your buyers make good decisions.

A few weeks ago, I interviewed a salesperson. I asked him how many meetings he had in his week selling. He responded that he had 20 meetings. I followed up by asking his average number in a year, and he averaged 20 meetings a week. That's 1,000 experiences. When I asked how often a client buys from him and his company, the busy rep said it took between five and seven years.

The Power of Information Disparity in B2B Sales

The most important sales strategy in B2B is information disparity. Creating value for your contacts means you need to share an insight that corrects their information disparity. But before we move forward, we must address one of the biggest mistakes you might be making—one that thwarts a second meeting.

Imagine you are a buyer, a decision-maker, or, if you must, the CEO of a billion-dollar company. You agreed to meet with a salesperson to help with a challenging set of problems that are harming your company's strategic outcomes. When you accepted the calendar invite, you clicked your way to the salesperson's website and read all about the company and their solutions. Stay in character here.

The salesperson shows up and starts to build rapport. It is clear that the rep is trying to find their sea legs. As the salesperson settles in, they open up a slide deck and share the same information you read on their website.

Recognizing they bombed, the salesperson opens up their trophy case in the form of a slide with all the big-name companies the company serves. You are now disappointed, as you had hoped the sales rep would be interested in your problems and the rare decision your team will soon have to make. The sales rep now shares what makes their solution the best in the known and unknown universe.

Embracing the One-Up Mindset

Let us return to information disparity, the idea that you know things your clients are not likely to know. Why on earth would you share information that is readily available and fails to create value for your client in the sales conversation? Let me answer this question for you:

  1. No one has introduced you to the concept of being One-Up. Similarly, no one has clued you in about the value of sharing insights and information that is not easily acquired. When I needed two brain surgeries, I chose the surgeon who had invented the type of procedure I would have. He had done 3,000 surgeries before mine. Your clients need someone who knows what they don't know.
  2. No one has shared information disparity as the most important sales strategy for salespeople. Even the largest of sales organizations fail to enable their teams by teaching them how to create value. They believe their solution is what matters most.
  3. Your sales methodology is old, outdated, or built on only one strategy. You will need a growing number of strategies to create value to win more—and larger—clients.

One of the main reasons you need to be One-Up is that you are responsible for leading your client through what we used to call the buyer's journey, a term that doesn't mean anything anymore. This again is the power of both being One-Up and the effective use of information disparity.

The One-Down salesperson will allow their client to lead. In doing so, they risk losing due to the giant set of problems in buying, like access to the necessary stakeholders and the fits and starts that delay your meeting by four weeks instead of building momentum.

Crafting a Winning Sales Strategy

I want you to love your company. I also want you to love your solutions. But as much as I hope this is true, your competitors also work for good companies with good solutions. This means you will suffer parity, as you and your competitors may as well be identical twins. The only real difference is the color scheme of your logo.

You and I now live in the Age of Decision-Making. Your clients and mine are concerned with the uncertainty that marks the 21st century. We must sit next to our clients and enable them to make the decision that we would make for them if they asked us to make the decision for them.

Next Steps to Becoming One-Up

You will need a plan to go from an average sales rep to One-Up. You will also need to use the right sales strategies and tactics.

P.S. If you want to get started, I have a course on Information Disparity and Value Creation for $97. But if you buy today, you will pay only $47 with this code: 50coins

Post by Anthony Iannarino on July 9, 2024

Written and edited by human brains and human hands.

Anthony Iannarino

Anthony Iannarino is an American writer. He has published daily at thesalesblog.com for more than 14 years, amassing over 5,300 articles and making this platform a destination for salespeople and sales leaders. Anthony is also the author of four best-selling books documenting modern sales methodologies and a fifth book for sales leaders seeking revenue growth. His latest book for an even wider audience is titled, The Negativity Fast: Proven Techniques to Increase Positivity, Reduce Fear, and Boost Success.

Anthony speaks to sales organizations worldwide, delivering cutting-edge sales strategies and tactics that work in this ever-evolving B2B landscape. He also provides workshops and seminars. You can reach Anthony at thesalesblog.com or email Beth@b2bsalescoach.com.

Connect with Anthony on LinkedIn, X or Youtube. You can email Anthony at iannarino@gmail.com

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