For 100 years the way to grow revenue was to teach salespeople all the product details. Then to be sure those details are committed to the salesperson’s memory and built into a “Pitch” that converts plain people, into a suspect, then converts suspects to prospects and finally prospects to customers in the space of a phone call, chance meeting (they knock at your door) or in a scheduled appointment.
Those people who are being “Pitched” would prefer this attack by “Pitch” era would end but ROBO calls at a rate of 15 to 20 per week tell us no end is near.
Corporate and sales leadership use the term “Pitch” often but seldom reflect on the impact of just using it to describe the communication model with those potential buyers. When you ask these same leadership teams how they personally want to engage with a salesperson the answer is NEVER they want to be “Pitched.”
Yet these same leaders teach their teams deep product details with the intent of the sales team presenting all those details (in a scripted Pitch) to a possible buyer who is expected to 1) care, 2) fully understand the details as the sales person intended, 3) reflect on all the details and consider how each detail will add value to the buyer’s world, 4) immediately see the difference between the sales persons product details and the details of competitors, 5) believe all that the sales person said about the product, 6) be suspect of all competitors claims, 7) make a decision to buy the sales person’s product from these details sooner vs later.
If you ever make buying decisions you know those 7 normally unspoken expectations are ridiculous and as a buyer, you feel offended, demeaned, insulted or rudely treated, but you don’t feel like the salesperson is there to partner, serve or support you. This person is there to make money from you and your company.
As a buyer what if every salesperson, you encountered First Learned What Will Make You and your company “Better”? What if the salesperson had done research on you, your company, your strategy and operational results. What if that salesperson had read your vision, mission, brand promise and understood the outcomes you were working to achieve and the problems you were working to overcome?
What if that salesperson had thought about the difference between the short-term outcomes you must deliver and the long-term strategic outcomes you have committed to achieve?
If in the buyer’s perfect world, the seller had spent an hour on Google and LinkedIn to know this much about you and your company, what happens next could keep this dream alive?
Next, the salesperson gets to Pick One!
Revenue Science™ tells us about the predictive power of the BellCurve. Every buyer and seller across the BellCurve is in their place because they decided that is the place that works best for them and their world (career or company). Once a buyer or seller picks what works best for them they behave accordingly as do those who partner with them.
Those on the left side (buyers and sellers) place value on the brain and those on the right-side value “stuff.” On the right side the buyer values “stuff” because they already have all the brain (product knowledge) they need for this purchase, so price and availability rank high in the decision making.
With that BellCurve reminder, the salesperson who has done the review above knows a lot about the buyer, the buyer’s company, and the company’s engagement model. In other words, the seller knows where the buyer and the buyers’ company are on the BellCurve and the salesperson knows if their value is aligned with what the buyer values. The seller should know if there will be value to both parties before starting a conversation. Selling organizations design products, services, support, marketing, selling process, and engagement models that predictably deliver the sellers value to the buyer and the buyer responds to the value they require to get better.
K-Mart and Nordstrom both sell consumer goods in large stores but that is about the end of the alignment. K-Mart is on the far right and attracts far right-side buyers, while Nordstrom is on the left and attacks left-hand buyers.
In this story about a “buyer’s perfect world,” both buyers and sellers know their BellCurve sweet spot (where the most value is) and engage no more than one track right or left of that sweet spot.
So, when the salesperson decides to engage they pick the best way to engage so both parties get the most value from the short-term outcomes and all future long-term engagements.
The sales person on the right side of the BellCurve should be calling on buyers on the right-side, so they pick:
- Pitch Your Product Detail to Your Prospect and Wait for the Prospect Tell You the Value. In this situation, the buyer doesn’t often need, want or value your brain when it comes to applying your product in their world. The buyer will ask hard product detail questions, they will push supply chain and logistics issues to be sure the product is available when they need it and they will push all financial issues because if your product is the same as your competitors then financial, supply chain and logistics determine the winner.
The sales person on the left side of the BellCurve should be calling on buyers on the left side pick:
- Jointly Review the Value of Your Offer Based on the Size of the Customer’s Problem You Solve. In this situation, the buyer is looking for something to solve known problems and will be delighted to find solutions to unknown or future problems today that result in their business being better. Early in this engagement, the salesperson is learning how the buyer measures better and the associated value. On the left side of the BellCurve, the seller’s fee is a mathematical relationship to the size of the buyer’s recognized problem. Once the seller is clear about how to make the buyer’s world better and the value created by various solutions the seller can configure offers such that the buyer realizes the best thing they can do to make their business better is to engage with the seller. The buyer is clear about the value from this engagement and that the seller’s fee is in alignment.
From a high-level view, this “buyer perfect” engagement is also “seller perfect” since everything is transparent, and everyone is getting what they value without wasting time or resource on trying to see through the clouds of random or intentional vagueness.
Decide that every engagement will be high value for buyer and seller or it stops even before the first conversation or “Pitch.”
Don’t do business where you and the other party are not better as a result. Remember when the only value is cheaper then the business is not getting better by this engagement – they are just getting worse at a slower pace.
Business is more fun and a lot more profitable whenever effort makes you, your staff, your partners and customers BETTER than anything else they might do.
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