Your industry is different from other industries. What matters to you and your clients may or may not matter to someone else and their clients. The big trends that threaten your industry may benefit another industry. But when it comes to the principles of selling, your industry is no different than any other.
You may feel that your industry is special when it comes to prospecting and creating opportunities, that it is somehow more difficult for you to gain the commitment of your prospective client’s time. Your industry is not to blame. The difficulty in gaining appointments crosses all industries, and the root cause is that you are not trading enough value for people’s time, and prospecting by its very nature requires that you call people who are right now uninterested in what you sell. The principle here is that you need a strong value proposition to command your dream client’s time.
Your clients always tell you that your price is higher than your competitor’s, that it is too high, that you need to sharpen your pencil, or that what you sell is a commodity. If you in any way feel that your industry has been singled out for special treatment here, let me disabuse you of that belief. Most markets are more mature and more crowded than ever, and more options and more competition tends to lead to greater distribution of companies that create value at different levels, some choosing to compete on price, others on differentiated value. Who you are calling on and how you sell determines your experience here, not your industry. The principle here is knowing who your targets are and how to sell to them.
The experience of having buyers take more time and engage more stakeholders in the buying process slow—or derail—your opportunities is not something exclusive to your industry. The fact that people are now looking for internal consensus before they buy is well-documented. The challenge this presents your industry is the same for other industries. The principle here is the need to control the process, and it is something that you know how to do effectively, or it is not.
The experience you are having selling now is not different because of your industry. The challenges you are having are universal, and the ability to sell effectively through those challenges is known, documented, and being deployed by salespeople now.
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Filed under: Sales Acumen