It is easy to focus on the end game in sales, getting caught up in selling the solution that will help your dream client to overcome their problems or capitalize on their opportunities.
But the first thing your prospect has to buy is you. You are the solution!
Buying You: Part One – Are You Worth My Time?
In order for you to gain an audience with your dream client, you have to be able to differentiate yourself and to prove that you are credible. Your dream client is deciding whether or not to buy, the commitment being her time.
Buying You: Part Two – Are You Able to Help?
Once in front of them, you have to prove that you have the ability to help them by diagnosing their problems and challenges. The questions that you ask will either define you as a professional in your field, or they will define you as something less. Your dream client is making an assessment about your business acumen, your ability to lead change, and your ability get results. They are determining just how much you care. This assessment may be made thoughtfully and deliberately, or it may be made subconsciously—either way, they are making an assessment as to whether or not they buy your ability to understand and to help.
Buying You: Part Three – Are You Someone I Can Sell To My Team?
In complex sales, your dream client has to buy your plan to diagnose the organization and gain access to the ground truth. Unless they have bought your ability to understand their needs, the sincerity of your desire to help them, and your ability to make a difference, they are not going to sell you up in the C-suite or down on the factory floor.
Buying You: Part Four – Are You Going to Deliver?
Later, when you get to tell your story about your future together with your dream client, you have to sell something more than the solution. The solution is half of what you are selling. The other half of what you are selling is your commitment to ensuring that that future is realized. If your dream client (or any member of the buying committee) doesn’t believe that you will own the outcome, you have missed part of the sale (and you have racked up some certain “no” votes).
If your story doesn’t address the difficulties in making real improvements, and if it doesn’t indicate how you intend to be there to help resolve the challenges that accompany any change effort, you have only made half of the sale you need to make. Ignoring the difficulties in change efforts—especially big ones—makes you less credible and it makes it hard to buy you.
Your dream client can buy from many salespeople. Why should they buy from you? The first—and most important sale—is selling yourself. Your dream client has to buy that you are someone worth spending their time, that you have the ability to make a difference, that you are worth presenting to their team, and that you can and will deliver what you promise. You are the solution.
- Why should your dream client spend time with you? Why should he spend time with you instead of your competitor?
- Why should your dream client buy you and your ability to help them with their most complex business problems and their most important opportunities?
- Why should your dream client buy that they should sell you to their team, both at the C-level and on the factory floor?
- Why should your dream client buy you and your commitment to delivering what it is that you sell and that your promise?
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