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One of the differences between the legacy and modern approaches to sales is the type of information they utilize, as well as the information they don’t use, let alone prefer. Not all information is valuable to your contacts, and much of what some representatives use has no value at all.

A Glimpse into the Past: Understanding Legacy Sales Approaches

Imagine a time without the internet. Information about your company, your clients, and your solutions is hard to come by. Businesses hoping to make a purchase would need a salesperson to sit down with them and describe their company’s bona fides and offerings. They may have hoped that the salesperson could also share how their solution, once purchased, would support the success of your clients or customers. At some point, the contact would want the sales rep to tell them about what the sales organization’s product or service does and how it could help the client.

Your Company’s Digital Footprint: Beyond Websites to Real Engagement

There is no reason to talk about your company when your contact has, or will, explore it on their own through your company’s website. There is a beautiful picture of glass and steel gleaming in the sun, right up front to ensure they are impressed. Digging in deeper, contacts will find the founder’s story and the management team’s biography. It’s riveting content, for certain.

Your Client Portfolio: From Logos to Deep-Dive Success Stories

Only the largest and most impressive logos are shown on your website. This trophy case proves these giants of industry and business trust you to take care of them. When you start talking about your clients, you may as well be talking about your previous special person. By the time you meet with a prospective client, your contact has seen your impressive list of clients. As you share a slide full of logos, they wish you were as interested in them.

Solutions Tailored to Client Needs: Beyond the Pitch to True Value

I know you love your solution. You have been taught and trained to believe it is your primary source of value, and it is perfect for their client and anybody who might happen to have a problem. Besides the fact that this information is on your home page, where the client will have seen it, mentioning it early in the sales conversation feels like a pitch delivered way too early. Presented this way, you may as well have jumped into ancient history.

Nothing in pitching your solution creates value for your contacts. That explains why buyers and decision makers reject this approach, and should you decide to execute it, you will have a difficult time getting a second meeting. Your contact will also refuse to introduce you to their team and will throw you out of the building to avoid bumping into a senior leader.

The Present and Future: Navigating Modern Sales with Insight and Acumen

The here and now in B2B sales is quite a bit different. Your contacts no longer need you to recite anything about your company, your clients, or your solution. For that matter, unless you have the business acumen to build business rapport, you are better off getting personal after you prove that you are not a time waster. The first relationship you need is commercial, as that is what you wanted when you booked a meeting. Later, after you have worked together, you can spend time getting to know each other personally.

There are several areas where you can provide insights and information that is valuable to your contacts. You can do this because you sell what you sell every day, and your contact only buys what you sell occasionally. The strategy here is called “Information disparity,” which means something like, “I know something you don’t know,” followed by “May I share it with you?"

An Executive Briefing or a Trends Analysis: Showcasing Expertise and Vision

The first and, often best way, to establish that you are paying attention to the client’s industry, and the headwinds that cause the contact’s company to struggle to produce the results that were once easy enough. This is valuable for your contacts but is also good for you, as you show up as an expert and someone who does their homework.

Offering a Unique Vantage Point: Enhancing Client Decision-Making

Because you are always working with your prospective clients, you know that some contacts have not had the conversations they need to make a decision. For example, not inviting the team that will have to live with a particular solution can put success at risk. Without inviting the stakeholders, your client is more likely to have difficulty gaining their consensus and understanding how to best implement the solution.

Identifying the Root Cause of Problems: Precision Problem Solving

All the time, you are looking at your prospective client’s problems. Doing this as often as you do, you know why and how your prospects end up with some variation of the problems you help your clients solve. These are rather easy, but now we must turn to what creates value.

Empowering Your Clients: The Consultative Sales Approach for Lasting Success

How you stack up real value in the sales conversation is that you transfer your knowledge and experience to your contacts. You can share what you have learned by selling, and sometimes by watching a prospect fail because they didn’t take your advice or the advice of a competitor.

This is truly a consultative sales approach that not only creates value but also results in the right decision and the strategic outcomes that started we explored at the top of the page. The information you share with your contacts should be valuable for them. When what you share isn’t helpful, it does nothing to increase your chance of winning deals.

This is one way you can increase your sales effectiveness. You can also learn some of this in B2B sales training. However, as you work on creating value, make sure your client finds your conversation valuable.


Sales 2024
Post by Anthony Iannarino on March 12, 2024

Written and edited by human brains and human hands.

Anthony Iannarino
Anthony Iannarino is a writer, an international speaker, and an entrepreneur. He is the author of four books on the modern sales approach, one book on sales leadership, and his latest book called The Negativity Fast releases on 10.31.23. Anthony posts daily content here at TheSalesBlog.com.
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