Today, I close out my 3 part series on the risks of insight selling with a post that discusses the value of not only focusing on the dynamics of the new selling environment but also making sure that you focus on what has worked in that past.
What hasn’t changed in the buying and selling landscape is just as important as what has changed. While buyers are savvy, busy, pressured, risk-averse, and more demanding, they still need guidance to make the best business and personal decisions. Even though customers have unprecedented access to knowledge, they face the difficulty of sorting through what matters most and finding the value among all of the options. More information doesn’t always translate into accurate, clearer understanding; they still need sellers to accurately diagnose their unique situation and identify the best solution to make an informed buying decision that drives the results that they need.
While sellers also have access to more information on the Internet, they still need the information gained through dialogue with the buyer to tailor their solution to differentiate themselves and win business on something other than price. Trust is still the number-one factor in making a buying decision. Sales Professionals must still connect with the customer on a personal and business level, establish credibility, earn the right to ask questions, and gain information about the buyer’s situation to tailor their insights and ideas and ultimately customize a differentiated solution.
Those who are at the pinnacle of selling draw from both mastery of the fundamentals of great consultative selling (asking great questions, connecting solutions to needs, positioning value, etc.) while layering on higher-order consultative skills, such as leveraging insights. To them, it’s all connected — skills, substance, and integrity. They use all of the tools in the toolbox and know which ones to use when. They create value in the buying experience by leveraging insight to help the customer validate, clarify, broaden, and deepen his/her thinking around the true nature of a business issue or how best to address it in order to reach his/her goals and objectives.
Simply stated, it looks like this:
- They make the buyer “smarter” without making the buyer feel “stupid”
- They challenge the buyer’s thinking without challenging the person
- They are comfortable dealing with conflict when there are opposing viewpoints.
- They avoid self-serving behaviors that erode trust
- They use exceptional judgment and emotional intelligence throughout the pursuit and in the moment with the buyer