Traditional sales logic says you must first identify a customer need, secondly assess your capability to deliver against that need and thirdly offer a compelling commercial proposition. Now there is nothing inherently wrong with this logic, but a customer often has other questions on their mind before they will finally decide to ‘buy’.
- How much choice do they have in the marketplace?
- How much negotiating leverage do they have over you?
- What is the personal risk to them or their reputation if you don’t deliver?
- Who else do they need to convince within their organisation that your offer is the best one?
- How much might they need to compromise on their standard business terms and conditions?
- How easy might it be to switch to you from an existing supplier?
Customers want to hear why selling organisations want to win their business, they want to know how and when their requirements will be delivered, they want to be confident of delivery, they want genuine value for money and they want a contractual discussion which is based on substance rather than points of principle.
It doesn’t matter whether you sell to individuals or to professional procurement teams. If you take account of these wider questions then you will have a definite advantage over your competitors that don’t.
In the current economic climate businesses are becoming far more discerning in where and how they spend their money. They will be more specific in their needs, they will seek more for less, they will invariably be less flexible in negotiations, and they will almost certainly prefer to pay for results rather than effort alone.
Selling organisations who ‘get it’, who can make themselves as easy as possible to buy from, will be the ones that emerge victorious.
So be honest, would you choose to buy from you?