Everyone is searching for answers on how to sell in a down economy. Many feel that the sales game
has changed, but in reality the economic challenge has forced sales people to improve their skills and refine their approach.
I present to sales organizations searching for the Holy Grail to sell in this economy, I start with a very basic question.
"What is your job as a sales person?" Usually, that question is met with silence for a moment; and then I'm peppered by a
plethora of descriptions. "Sell something to someone!" "Generate revenue!" "Hit quota!" I'm always amazed at the description
variance for the same role. Often times, I hear these differences among the members of a single sales team. How can a sales
person be successful if they can't clearly define their role?
exercise is followed by another question. "Would it be worth the price of admission if I could provide you with a one-word
job description that provides you with a level of focus that you have never had before? You will wake up every morning and
say, "I know exactly what my job is!" As you can imagine, this offer is always met with a warm reception.
paint this picture, I ask the group to picture the two sides of Velcro…the cotton side and the hook side. Imagine each
side represents a business entity…buyers and suppliers. Think about it. There is no other part to the sales equation.
Thus, the fundamental job of the sales person is to put these two entities together. The one-word job description is to be
away, a sales person will say, "But, my company pays me. I have to be focused on generating sales." Fair point, or is it?
The company may actually write the check, but from where do the dollars come? It's from the revenue generated from the clients.
Thus, while the supplier writes the check, the buyer is funding the transaction.
matchmaker sales person works with these two entities with the goal of bringing them together. To successfully do this, the
matchmaker needs to master both sides of the equation.
the supplier side of the equation, the sales person needs to understand:
u The supplier's offerings
u The important features
and functions of each one
u The problems each
offering solves for a client
u The attributes of
the ideal client for each offering
u What buyer needs/circumstances
affect the scope of the offering
buyer side of the equation is more complex, but critical for the matchmaker to be successful in formulating these relationships.
The key is to recognize that there are a number of "buying players" who affect/influence the sale and a comprehensive understanding
is needed of each one.
you have identified each of the buying players, ask yourself
u What business challenges
keep them up at night?
u What information
can you learn from them to help facilitate the sale?
u What is their language?
(It is most effective if you can use their vernacular when communicating with them.)
u What is the SYNERGY
between the supplier's capabilities and the buyer's challenges?
u Why should the supplier's
offering be a PRIORITY for this buying player right now?
last two questions are the most important aspects to formulating relationships (a.k.a. generating sales.) Synergy is the process of comparing and contrasting what you know about the problems that the supplier's
offerings solve and the specific problems that each buying player faces. If a buying player is heavily influential in the
decision-making process, but you cannot identify synergies between their challenges and the supplier's solutions, it will
be nearly impossible to engage them. No sale!
Priority answers the fundamental
question of, "Why now?" One of the common sales excuses for not getting a response from a voicemail or email is that the decision-maker
is busy. "You can imagine why they aren't responding. They're busy. They have a full plate." Great news! The government just
announced that they are issuing everyone a second plate. Problem solved! Humor aside, the real issue is that if you cannot
align the solution with the buying player's most problematic areas, you will find that opportunities languish in the pipeline.
Just like the old Roach Motel, "they go in, but they don't come out!"
next time you want to use the "they're busy" excuse, consider this. As you're reading this article, you receive a call from
your CEO who wants to meet with you tomorrow at 9:30am to discuss tripling your salary. Will you be at the meeting? I'll bet
you will. You never even checked your calendar before committing, did you? Why? The answer is that money is a priority for
you. Everything else gets cast aside to have a meeting about tripling your income.
exact same results are achieved if you can identify synergy and priority with your buying players. They will be responsive.
They will have meetings and re-organize their day to meet with you if the supplier solution solves a problem that is keeping
the decision-making, buying player up at night.
While you may be looking for answers on how to sell in a miserable
economy, the solution is right under your nose. Find the synergies and priority between the supplier and buyer; and become
a true matchmaker sales person. To receive Lee's buying player worksheet, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.