So many sales focused professionals begin their path of getting to the Buyer's "yes" by thinking it is a linear path they will take together. There are so many components to the art and science of sales and when you factor in how the landscape has changed over the last
5 - 7 years it becomes more of a treasure hunt than a linear path. For purposes of the example below, there will be a few characters - the Seller or Trusted Advisor, our Client and their Buyer.
Let me explain and please know the treasure hunt can be a great thing for you and your Buyer. Why? The entire goal is to always be delivering value. Much like a treasure hunt you are looking for things of value which are simply additional clues that let you (the Seller or better yet, the Trusted Advisor) know you are going in the right direction. The treasure hunt isn't random in nature. As the Trusted Advisor for your Client, you are constantly seeking ways to add value to your engagement and define the path they need to travel to approve their investment of time and money with you. Here's an example: I worked with a non-profit organization (my Client) tasked with completing a Request for Proposal (RFP). For almost a decade they had been the incumbent for their Buyer without a structured process for maintaining that status. One day everything changed. The RFP response had to be completed and submitted within weeks. After outlining the critical areas of the RFP response and drafting responses the document was in its' final draft and ready to be submitted.
One last thing. After doing some due diligence I uncovered a small treasure that could be used for future reference and only as needed. One of the competitors (within the RFP process) was listed as a donor (deep) on their Buyer's website. This represented a conflict of interest and could be leveraged as needed. We did a phenomenal job with the response so I wasn't concerned about needing "the treasure" that had been uncovered.
The good news - the client was awarded the business for an additional three (3) years!
The outcome is the happy ending to great effort to maintain the business. Along the way, we accomplished a few things:
* Learning & Development - The training for the leader and team enabled them to be
able to complete future RFPs for additional business! During the process they had their
"aHa moment" and realized they had all they needed to win new business
* Trust - The leadership team realized they could trust us with the task at hand to keep
their best interest as a top priority
* Most importantly, our Client is able to continue to serve the community with services
impacting families, children and parents.
In our next article we'll talk in more detail about the importance of outcome AND the impact of the outcome which the last point brings up.
The path to "yes" is much more likely to look like a treasure hunt than a straight line. Consider all angles and look for the valuable components for your Buyer. The importance of helping them make buying decisions is critical to success in the current business landscape.
Stay H.E.A.R.T. centered!