Okay, you’re thinking I must have lost my mind today – of course you know where your customer is regarding their location. However, do you know where they are regarding their buying process?
Knowing where the prospect or customer is in the buying process is one competency that separates the “also-rans” from the high performers in business-to-business selling. B2B sales people who understand their prospect or customer’s progression through their buying process are winning more sales.
Why does it matter? Because the b2b sales people who know where their prospect or customer is-in their buying cycle-are more likely to align their selling efforts or sales process with the buying process.
In fact, the lack of knowledge regarding this simple sales technique is responsible for most commodity price selling. How is that, you ask? Simple, the sales process and buying process are out of alignment with most sales people. Since the majority of sales people are fast paced and direct, they get ahead of the buying process usually quoting a price too early in the process. And, since this can be the lowest price they can offer, they have little room for negotiation or flexibility later in the process. Sound familiar?
The key to learn BOTH your sales process and the buying process and keep them aligned during the execution of your sales process. The key is not to get ahead of the prospect’s buying cycle – it is to stay aligned and in step with the buying process to improve your prospect for success.
Here is an example of staying in alignment…
When the prospect is in the total satisfaction phrase with their current supplier or provider, there is NO NEED to discuss your product or service, quote a price or give a presentation. It is only falling on a deaf ear.
The role of the sales person at this time is two fold – one, determine if dissatisfaction can be created through the use of great targeted questions, a little research with others in the prospect company and if special relationships are place (family ties, long term contracts, special cutthroat deals, integrity issues or other factors).
The second is to decide if your time would be better spent working on another account of equal size and opportunity? The best sales people know they must make decisions to walk away from some accounts who will not buy based upon anything they do.
Learn your sales process and learn the buying process. Keep them aligned and trust the system. It works consistently.