The Most Important Factor in Sales

  Hello. It’s Me. Adele was wondering if on this Monday you had a chance to watch and read..ok I’m no poet so here we go! Features, advantages, benefits! Always be closing! For the love of all that is holy please make sure these sales tactics don’t describe you. Coffee is not for closers anymore. This type of outreach is garbage these days. While these approaches are outdated I still see them happen everyday. I even made this crucial mistake early on as I attempted “hard selling”. I tried stuffing my pitch down my prospect’s throat before they even had a chance to speak. What I’ve learned in my sales experience at A Sales Guy, Inc is that structuring your value proposal on what a potential client “hopes to achieve and can expect as a solution” will give you the greatest leverage when trying to land new business. At the end of the day a potential client can care less if you get the contract signed. This is not their priority. Their main goal is understanding what problem does your solution solve? Why do they need it? And MOST IMPORTANTLY; what is their likely outcome or result with your solution? why:how:whatThis last question is often overlooked by salespeople. Your prospects countlessly hear how they have problem X which is why they need your solution Y. Once this is agreed upon, a salesperson might jump into pricing and getting an agreement signed as if their life depended on it. While everyone understands that time is money; addressing what outcomes the client can expect by using your solution will entirely reframe the discussions on price. Ian Altman, a best-selling author and sales leader; describes outcome-based selling on his blog, Grow Your Revenue. In his post on “The Best Way To Win Business on Value Not Price”, Ian focuses on aligning how salespeople and prospects should view success. A contract that is signed, sealed and delivered may seem like a win for a salesperson; but, not when the goal of the new client is to have solve their current business challenge and see tangible outcomes or results. This diagram below is a great tool to use during your prospecting calls when qualifying a new potential client. It can help differentiate between just a “great meeting” and an “actual opportunity.” issue:results:impact Customer-centric selling is how you will stay on your prospect’s top-of-mind. Selling with a “problem-solution” approach is only scratching surface in today’s market. Buyers will put your offer on the table and keep it there if this is as deep as your value proposition goes. The sellers who will win the sale these days can portray their value from the initial proposition all the way to demonstrating what the buyer can expect in solution-delivered outcomes by using their product or service. Ask “How” questions. Don’t use BANT. BANT is for the C-players. For those of you who don’t know what BANT is consider yourself lucky. The acronym stands for: Budget, Authority, Need & Timing. This type of qualifying is old school and will leave you far behind, miles away from quota. Don’t just take it from me though, Keenan did a talk recently and addressed the importance of using “how” questions to truly understand your prospects/customers which helps you dig deeper and understand your customers much better, qualify them faster and start crushing quota. BANT SUCKS, BRAND YOU IS CRITICAL, AND WHY WE NEED BETTER SALES PEOPLE Salespeople if you want to stand out from the pack then deliver a value proposition that starts with addressing a need and finishes when your prospect or client understands exactly what they can expect in terms of outcomes and results from using your solution. Otherwise your pipeline might look like it’s growing but at the end of the day you might be chasing those prospects who happened to go dark after you swore they we “in”. Thanks for reading and let’s continue this conversation to Twitter and Linkedin. >Max  


Keenan is A Sales Guy Inc’s CEO/President and Chief Antagonist. He’s been selling something to someone for his entire life. He’s been teaching and coaching almost as long. With over 20 years of sales experience, which he’ll tell you he doesn’t give a shit about, Keenan has been influencing, learning from and shaping the world of sales for a long time. Finder of the elephant in the room, Keenan calls it as he sees it and lets nothing or no one go unnoticed.