There is power in sharing an insight that provides your client with a new view of their business. A single idea is capable of sense-making where things are complex, complicated, and challenging to navigate. One of the defining criteria of a modern sales approach is providing insights and an provocative perspective, one that creates greater understanding and potential.
In insight selling, a single insight can compel your dream client to change, abandoning their current state for the better state they are capable of by doing something different. Your insight can create potential where it is yet unrecognized. Where one single idea is a firecracker, stacking your insights on top of each other is a box of dynamite, more potent by order of magnitude.
What you don’t know can hurt you. But what you don’t know you don’t know can make things impossibly difficult. The value you create in consultative sales is not only knowing what your dream client doesn’t know, but also knowing what your dream client doesn’t know they don’t know.
You can call this insight-based selling, commercial teaching, or any variation on the theme. Still, the root of the idea is consultative selling, providing advice and counsel that leads to better outcomes.
When you share insight with your client, you are providing them with a higher resolution lens with which to look at their world, replacing their low-resolution understanding with something that allows them to see something they didn’t even know was there.
A Few of My Lenses
Indulge me by allowing me to use my work as an example. You might not have known that there is a concept called a “competency model,” a framework for all the competencies necessary for a particular role. My first book, The Only Sales Guide You’ll Ever Need, provided a competency model for modern B2B sales.
My framework included the character traits that one might need, as well as the skills necessary to succeed in B2B sales today. That competency model provided readers with a different view as to what was required and how they could self-assess and improve the individual competencies that would lead to greater personal sales success.
TOSG is a single insight. By itself, it’s enough to help people get better results, but it isn’t the only insight that might be helpful to people who want to improve their sales. Just like the insights you have (even if you haven’t organized them and made them actionable), some other problems or challenges require you to provide another lens.
The second book I wrote, The Lost Art of Closing: Winning the 10 Commitments That Drive Sales, provided a framework for controlling the sales conversation we have with clients, ensuring the reader would understand where they are in that conversation and what commitments they need their client to make to move forward. The lens that TLAC provides is one that illuminates the idea that asking for a signature on a contract is one the most accessible commitments to gain, provided you have guided your client through the necessary conversations.
Where the first insight on the competency model is valuable, combining it with the second insight, stacking one on top of the other, has the potential to create even greater value, with some individuals benefiting from the individual insight and others needing both to improve their results.
The third of my books, Eat Their Lunch: Winning Customers Away from Your Competition, provided a structure for evaluating the level of value you create for your clients, with a methodology for making your sales conversations more strategic and more compelling. It also provided a new view of the discovery process, as well as a method for building consensus.
What Lens Are You Providing?
Let’s talk about you. If you want to determine the insights that create value for your clients as you engage in the sales conversation with them, there isn’t a better place to start than recognizing what they don’t know they don’t know. When you are frustrated by clients who don’t make the decision you believe they should be making, you have an indication that there is something that you know that they don’t know—or that they don’t believe.
You need to help them recognize and understand what would help them make a good choice.
You may be concerned that your client knows more about their business than you do, something that is likely true, and you may be concerned about your dream client rejecting your insights. But the high price of being genuinely consultative means becoming a subject matter expert when it comes to the better outcomes you can help them achieve, the intersection of your two businesses.
Your experience and depth of understanding are greater because you sell what you sell to many companies with varying challenges in different verticals, giving you have a broader knowledge and a deeper understanding of why your prospective clients failed to generate the results they need—or helping them see potential that was invisible to them without your insight.
The more productive you are at showing your clients something they haven’t seen or have been unable to discern, the more valuable your insights. The larger and more complete your insights, the greater the value you create through the stacking of insights, one on top of another. You can also solve more and more significant challenges with a complete arsenal of ideas and tools to help your clients make sense of their world and make the changes necessary to succeed.
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