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Leslie Groene Website Homepage November 2021, Vol. 196


Look to Be more Effective with Your Selling Strategies

1. Sell to your buyer's situation (not their disposition)

The B2B buying process has become increasingly complex over the last decade. In 2015, an average of five to six people needed to sign off on each large purchasing decision. Today, "the typical buying group for a complex B2B solution involves six to 10 decision-makers."

In other words, you're not just selling to one person - you're driving consensus among multiple stakeholders. Those stakeholders may not share the same title or demographic information, but they do have one thing in common: their situation.

People don't buy from you because of who they are, their demographics, or their job characteristics. They're more concerned with whether their current situation is putting their business goals at risk. The real drivers behind behaviors and behavior change are the challenges within your buyer's situation, not their professional disposition.

Your buyers are asking weighty questions that are specific to their current situation.

2. Disrupt your prospect's status quo

Many sales reps assume that the sales process is linear, a set of repeatable steps that every prospect goes through during the sales cycle. And, at some point, it concludes with the prospect choosing either you or your competitor.

In some cases, there's a third option for your buyers: "no decision."

Studies show that at least 60 percent of deals in the pipeline are lost to "no decision" rather than to competitors. That's because of something called Status Quo Bias - your prospect's natural aversion to doing something different than what they're doing today.

As the outsider, you're fighting inertia - your buyer's natural tendency to stay with their current situation. To persuade them to change and choose you, you need to disrupt your prospect's status quo, drive the need for change, and create a buying vision that differentiates you from your competition.

Keep in mind, however, that you can't just start touting your solutions' features and benefits. Your prospect won't care about your solution if they don't first see the need to change.

Instead, focus on creating the urgency to change by establishing that your prospect's status quo prevents them from reaching their most important business goals.

3. Introduce unconsidered needs

If you base your approach on what your prospects tell you their needs are, whether through voice of the customer research or discovery questions, you're then inclined to connect your solution's specific capabilities to those identified needs.

The problem is your competitors are responding to those same inputs from their prospects and customers. So, you end up delivering commodity messages that won't differentiate you.

When prospects hear and read similar messages from you and your competitors, they see no contrast between their choices. There's no compelling reason or urgency to change, so the buyer opts to stick with the status quo.

Telling your buyer about pain points they already know about doesn't make you a trusted advisor - it makes you a tape recorder. To create the urgency to change and overcome Status Quo Bias, you need to introduce prospects to Unconsidered Needs - unmet or yet unknown problems, ideas or missed opportunities that are holding back their business.

As you probably know, I am always asking my clients to upsell and cross sell to each client that they have where it is an option. Analyze each of your clients' situations and create a plan for the product/solution that you can sell to them in addition to what they already buy from you. Your goal is help your clients be more effective, profitable or successful in tehri space with their clients.