For Everyone Who Thinks They Know Everything About Marketing and Sales
(The rest if you can also read it if you’d like…)
So you think you have this sales and marketing stuff figured out? Allow me to challenge that assumption. Here are some things to think about:
- Why would they want to talk to you in the first place?
- How well is your name recognized?
- Who else have you helped?
- What mannerisms matter?
- Do your marketing materials really speak to their biggest problems/threats?
Do you have a clear target market?
- Specific problems you can solve
- Market Size (How many prospects are there?)
- Company Size (How big do they need to be to afford you?)
How do you differentiate your features/benefits?
- How well have you listened to your customers to understand, and then help them understand the true impact of their greatest problems?
- What stories can you tell about how you’ve helped others?
Have you clearly defined your collection of selling processes?
- The selling methodology
- The onboarding process
- Delivery process
- Post delivery process
- Ongoing communication process
Let’s talk about your customer relationships:
- Do you LIKE your customers?
- How well do you communicate with customers?
- What do your customers like/dislike?
- Do you know their personal situations
- Do you know how they make decisions (and who needs to be involved)?
- What are their greatest challenges, and how can you help ease them?
- Do you have the integrity to say “no” to a prospect?
Neil Rackham, in his book “SPIN SELLING” does a great job teaching us how customers make buying decisions. He researched more than 20,000 sales people involved in what he called “major account sales.” These were the elephant hunters that go after big game (the big customers).
He found a specific pattern that consistently worked, and used the acronym SPIN to describe it:
- “S” Situation:This part involves developing a shared understanding of the prospect's environment, their situation.
- “P” Problems: Once the situation is understood, the problems begin to surface, and these should be identified.
- “I” Implications: Once a problem is identified, it is your job to walk the prospect down the “stairs of doom” in order to deeply understand ALL the implications of that problem. What else is affected? Who else is affected? What are the full economic deficits this problem is causing? This must be done for each individual problem you’ve identified in the previous step.
- “N” Needs Payoff: Only after understanding the full devastating effects of the implication step, will the prospect begin to be ready to start looking at solutions. Now we can begin to ask what are the payoffs for removing this problem?
Notice in going through these 4 steps we’ve not presented an offer to the prospect? That only comes after those 4 steps are covered.
If you can identify, implicate, and get to the bottom of where all the dead bodies are buried, something magical begins to happen.
Yes, there is more to this, but this article is already a bit long. So go buy and read Rackham’s book. Or, you can contact me to go through specific training on how to employ this methodology to your business. It really does work!!