You Sell from In Front

You Sell from In Front

It’s difficult to play the game of sales from behind.

It’s difficult to play from behind when your buyer has already entered the buying cycle. Once they’ve decided that they’re dissatisfied, that they need to change, and have started evaluating options, you’re already working from behind. If you think you can wait for your dream client to decide they need something before you start engaging them, you’re incorrect.

It’s difficult to play from behind your competitors, too. Once they’ve managed to find their way into your dream client company and made connections, you’re already behind in relationship building. If you think you can play catch up after your competitors have the place wired, you’re going to learn just how difficult it can be to displace someone with a deep relationship. Selling is built on relationships of value. You need to have built relationships before you really need them.

It’s difficult to play from behind when it comes to pricing. Once you’re at the end of your sales process and begin negotiating, it’s too late to start trying to define the value you create. To successfully maintain your pricing and your margins, you needed to build the value and gain agreement on what it’s worth to your client early in the sales process. The only way you can push back and reiterate the value you create is if you’ve already gained that agreement earlier. You sharpen your value creation, or you sharpen your pencil.

Selling is a game that’s best played from in front. You work in front of opportunities to help your dream client understand and their needs—and the eventual solution. You work in front of opportunities to create the relationships you need up and down your client’s organizational chart. You work in front of pricing by gaining agreement on the value you create and what it’s worth to your dream client before you ever get to a negotiation.

Questions

How do you play the game of sales from in front?

How do you fall behind?

What are the challenges of trying to catch up with your dream client when they’re deep into their buying cycle?

What do you do to catch up with your competitors when they’ve built strong relationships?

When is the right time to start justifying your price as it relates to the value you create?

Comments

comments

  • http://twitter.com/martieymiller martieymiller

    Anthony…you continue to hit home runs with content. SEC research has proven clients who realize they need something are already 57% of the way through their buying process before ever consulting a salesperson/vendor. The money game is leading buyers to affirm business problems they either under-appreciate, or don’t know they have, and outlining the capabilities (product neutral…not features/benefits) necessary to solve that problem.

    • http://www.thesalesblog.com S. Anthony Iannarino

      I saw some stuff from Forester this week, too. Get there first and win. Show up late and lose. I can’t imagine it being any other way.

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