“I think that’s what it’s all about: embracing change and being brave.” While this line is very applicable to the events of this past year, it is actually taken from the Apple TV+ series “Ted Lasso.” The comedy is about an American football coach who moves to England after he’s hired to manage an English Premier League soccer team. Though the premise is somewhat absurd, his leadership philosophy struck a chord with me.
Early in the sales process, typically during discovery, it’s critical to learn as much about your customer’s issues, concerns, problems, and desires as possible. The better you understand your customer, the more effectively you’ll be able to position your solution as a way of addressing their needs. But often, during a discovery call, customers are reluctant to share information, or they give incomplete answers to your questions.
It’s no secret that the COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically impacted B2B sales teams, but what happens next? As we begin to see the light at the end of the COVID-19 tunnel, is the significant move to virtual selling going to accelerate? Or will things revert back to the pre-pandemic “normal” of primarily in-person selling? A good place to start is to understand where customers are going to work.
Stop me if this sounds familiar: Your salesperson tells you that the first meeting with the major account was a success. The prospect loves the product! Fast forward a few more meetings with the buyer, and now the deal is bogging down. After another month or two, the deal finally dies.
We all have heard the old sales adage: “People buy from people they like.” And a significant body of behavioral science research supports this statement. According to famed psychologist Dr. Robert Cialdini, liking is one of the six principles of influence outlined in his seminal book, “Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion.” When you have a strong relationship with a buyer, you tend to have more influence with that buyer. That means the buyer respects your experience and advice, they're more likely to value your contribution to the decision process, and there is a greater chance of such buyer becoming a “long-term” customer. Follow these four strategies to build a strong relationship with your buyer, and you'll go a long way towards having an easier time closing more business.
With the introduction of new sales enablement technologies and the shift to, technology-driven, inside sales reps, do relationships with customers still matter?