Culture Matters

Who are you selling to? What is their culture?  Are they a people company?  Are they a financial numbers company? Are they conservative? Are they innovative and early adopters? What type of people do they hire? What type of people work there? What is it like walking through the hallways? What does the CEO talk about? What’s the CEO’s personality? What words do they use in their annual report? What does their marketing look like? What types of events do they put on? What are they known for? Do you know the culture of your prospects and customers?

Culture matters when selling. Culture influences the buying criteria. Culture influences the buying process. Culture affects the people on the decision making team. Culture affects the financial elements. Culture affects everything about the sale. Understanding your prospects and customers culture is critical in understanding “how” you are going to sell to them.

There are two elements to a sale, the fit and the process. Establishing fit through need is only half of the sales effort. Getting a prospect or client to accept they have a need and your product is what will address that need just gets the process going. Getting to, “YES we will buy your product,” is the bigger more daunting piece.

Imagine you’re selling a new, innovative way to manage inventory. If your prospect has a conservative, risk averse culture, positioning your product as innovative and revolutionary will only hurt you.  Understanding a prospects or customers culture provides a guide on HOW to sell them. It provides road signs letting you know where to turn and where not to turn. It tells you how fast to go and when to yield. It tells you where the roadblocks are and where the freeway is. Your customers culture is the map to selling to them.

Cultures vary between every company. Every culture is different. Each company has it’s own. Knowing what it is, how it works and how it influences your sales cycle is key. Know the culture of your customers. It matters.