Select your preferred player below to subscribe now:
About This Episode
There’s no doubt that we’re in the age of information.
With a little research, anybody can find nearly everything about your product and company.
Why, then, do we insist on telling potential buyers all about ourselves in the first five minutes of meeting? It’s possible they already know the majority of what you’re saying.
… the “cold-as-ice” buyer.
… being a sales facilitator.
… the CLOSE approach.
The cold-as-ice buyer
Tom points out that buyers have a completely different mindset than what they used to. Instead of relying on sellers to provide them with information, they’re now struggling with the influx of accessible content.
On top of that, there are more stakeholders involved with the buying process than ever before. The risk of making a B2B purchase is now spread out amongst numerous decision-makers. Therefore, sales cycles are increasingly drawn out.
The most frustrating aspect of what Tom calls the “cold-as-ice buyer” is the fact that for about ⅔ of the sales cycle, they’re simply sorting out all of their options.
While you’re waiting for the potential buyer to take the next desired action, they’re likely
- and deconflicting provided information.
Instead of piling on more information, Tom suggests helping the potential buyer sort out their options.
Become a sales facilitator
Being a sales facilitator as opposed to just another seller looks like this:
- You understand the buyer’s unique challenges from the top-down. You can see all of the obstacles they may face by implementing a new tool or process. You’re able to point out all of these potential hazards and how your product and personnel mitigate them.
- You’re able to put yourself in the buyer’s shoes. You have empathy towards the situation they’re in. You can see which product would be best for them from their perspective (even if it’s not yours).
- You schedule a discovery meeting with the potential buyer. A discovery meeting not only helps the prospect understand your solutions better; it lets you know if the prospect is a good fit.
- You run complete diagnostics on the company. If the discovery meeting goes well, you should then run total diagnostics. Find each and every spot where the company is losing money or talent, and demonstrate how your product alleviates it. Be sure that you’re addressing the company’s problems before you dive into talking about your product.
You can see how these points help you become more of a consultant and less of an average B2B seller. By moving away from your product and features, and fully looking at the situation from the buyer’s perspective, you’ll gain their trust and respect.
Help the potential buyer see the cost of doing nothing about their challenges. You might even dig up an unnecessary expense that they had no knowledge of.
After outlining the breadth of challenges the company is facing, pivot to how your service can help.
The CLOSE approach
Tom’s approach to B2B sales goes as follows:
Challenge: We’ve covered the first step of CLOSE for the most part. However, keep in mind that this is where the buyer’s story begins. You acknowledge the hardships the company is facing and let them know that they’re the hero in this journey.
Loss: Layout the losses the company – and more specifically, the individual – can encounter by not taking action on their challenges. As the hero, they need to find some way to mitigate these losses.
Opportunity: Here’s where you tell them how good it could be. If they could just find the right solution, they’d be home free.
Solution: Ta-da! You have the perfect solution for them because you have a deep understanding of the unique issues the company is facing. Plus, you’ve successfully demonstrated this knowledge. This is where you start relieving their problems with your product’s features.
Evidence: The buyer has seen what your product can do. But, does it work? Have some evidence (case studies, testimonials, etc.) on hand to back up your pitch.
The new school of selling
B2B sales has evolved.
It’s no longer going to work to spray content and pray that it falls on the right ears. Digging deep into companies and acting as a sales concierge will prove to pay off as the entire market transitions in the same direction.