Excerpts from “But I Hate Sales™ Training for Non-Sales Professionals
Christopher Bell, III aka “The Janitor”
At StealthEnomics we have the privilege of working with brilliant, visionary leaders with great products and services who may have limited-to-no experience selling big-ticket items or complex services. They know that sales revenue is the life-blood of their company but too few have experience competing in hyper-competitive markets. As such, we thought we’d share a bit of our “But I Hate Sales™” Training for Non-Sales Professionals in hopes that maybe… just maybe these brief insights will prepare you for a successful buyer-seller engagement.
Generally buyers don’t care about your company, your people, or the pretty picture of your building on an MS-PowerPoint slide deck. They care about their company, their time, their jobs, and want a piece of your profit margin so you can “earn” the deal. If your products, services, or solutions fit into that mix… great. Now welcome to the Sales Arena my non-sales professional friend.
First things first. Let’s tighten up our chin-straps and prepare for full-contact, shall we? In many cases It’s not unusual to be short-listed amongst your competitors after they’ve done some online homework. However, in today’s buying encounters, competency is presumed (saying “we’re the best” is common noise) and quality is assumed (or you wouldn’t have made the cut to even have a conversation.)
4 BUSINESS BUYER VALUES
Today’s buyers of products and services still appreciate the Big 4 of Business Buying Decisions: ease of use, time to delivery, quality, and price and negotiations on these values make take place several times at different levels before consummating a vendor agreement. Therefore, get know these buyer roles:
4 BUYER ROLES
- Evaluators – they’ve done the preliminary homework and created the requirements that will satisfy the organization you’re selling into. They may also be responsible for making sure whatever product or service is selected really works as advertised.
- Technical or Financial Influencers – they can’t say “yes” on your deal, but they can certainly affect the velocity and direction of your proposal and negotiations. Usually, they’re the internal trusted advisors to the Decision Maker who hold a strategic perspective into what’s working and what’s not.
- Financial Decision Makers – are individuals who can say “yes” or “no” and have the budget AND authority to accept your terms and pay for it.
- Procurement/Legal Departments – are great at holding up a deal for bit to squeeze impatient or desperate sellers for one final discount as they play on the psychological uncertainty of degrading the velocity of the deal and keeping the competition engaged.
3 BUYER GOALS
Really good buyers will use a strategy designed to ignore or chip away the “value” benefits and unique differentiators of your products or services with these goals in mind:
Goal #1: Construct a generic offering so that an “apples-to-apples” comparison can be made. Usually features, benefits, or unique pricing bundling is un-coupled to drive down the price and differentiation.
Goal #2: Commoditize & Compare offerings and the pre-discounting of your proposal can begin. At this stage you’ll be told “we’ve received other proposals and quotes that are similar to yours” and don’t be surprised if you’re asked if there’s “any flexibility in your pricing?” Don’t fall for this trap. The truth is, if you discount once, you’ll be forced to discount again and if you do, you’ll get to wear a badge of shame as a “Discount Queen.” If you give up a discount, take away something on your proposal the customer values. Note: Most first big deals are your worst deals. Just make sure you’re not committing a fatal business error.
Goal #3: Procurement Professionals want to get your deal done. They’re not in the “business prevention business” and generally care about being good stewards of company resources so that their company can be more competitive and get home on time to attend their kid’s soccer game and enjoying quality time with their friends and loved ones… just like you.
If you’d like more buyer-seller tips for big deal engagements, login to our website and schedule a “But I Hate Sales™” introductory session that may be the beginning of driving new revenues that will transform your business.
Christopher Bell, III aka “The Janitor”
And creator of “But I Hate Sales™” Training for Non-Sales Professionals