If you were to walk in the back door of your dream client’s account and speak to one of the contacts who cares about what you do, would your competitor have reason to be concerned? Should they fear your very presence inside the building as an existential threat? Or, would they feel confident that there is no way you could create an opportunity to displace them?
This might sound like a question about how well your competitor has their client locked up, but it isn’t. It’s a question about whether your approach allows you to create an opportunity by helping the client discover something about themselves and opening up a gap. Your company’s first 8 slides are not going to compel your dream client to change. Nor is it likely that a traditional discovery process is going to do enough to overcome the status quo.
The dangerous type of salesperson is strategic, meaning they know how to initiate conversations about strategic outcomes, things that matter, systemic issues that are difficult to resolve. You pose no threat if the best you can do is share features and benefits. There is no danger in a salesperson who provides no more danger than a catalogue that comes in the mail.
The dangerous salesperson has the ability to find and engage the people who are necessary to change and bring them into the process. They can enter the organization at the highest level, the lowest level, or anywhere between and wire the building. You are no danger if you can’t move vertically and horizontally within the four walls of your dream client’s company.
When it comes to the intangibles, the dangerous type of salesperson has them in spades. They have the ability to develop relationships, to look and sound like a peer, and to create a preference to work with them because of the value they create (which is something different than the value their company or their product creates). Without the intangibles, there are salespeople who can walk into your dream client’s building and leave without anything changing inside their four walls.
What makes one dangerous is their ability to create a situation where a competitive displacement is possible—or likely.
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Filed under: Sales Acumen