It seems that most of us, even younger salespeople, were taught to sell by upselling our own products and services. This model is completely outdated given the current demands of procurement agents and business people.
Since the economic meltdown, companies are working harder and making better decisions about which supplier to choose. These decisions come down to how one supplier meets multiple needs better than another. If we only upsell our capabilities we are not selling the way today’s buyers buy. What buyers are looking for is the “net” plusses and minuses of one supplier vs. another, not the long list of all your wonderful traits -- but the ones that matter!
In my recent book, B2B Street Fighting, I go to great lengths to point out that it is not only an emerging trend but I believe to be the #1 job of a sales professional today…
show the customer how you meet their needs… better than their alternative.
For too long selling and negotiating has focused on understanding customer needs and showing how we meet them but stopping short of the due diligence required to point out how we're better than their alternative to us.
What does your company really sell? Technically speaking, Ferrari sells cars. But the Ferrari brand is all about ego, luxury, money, status, cachet, etc. At Think! Inc. we offer workshops, white papers, seminars and conferences all centered around strategic business negotiation. But what we really sell is courage.
If the B2B street fighter is marked by any one skill, value or trait, it is courage. Courage colors every moment of a street fighter’s waking life. It’s not just how she acts under pressure; it’s how she acts all day, every day, whether she’s under the microscope or, more importantly, when no one is looking.
Some people may equate a title like B2B Street Fighting with cockiness rather than courage, but there is a difference. Courage is what makes deals happen the way the street fighter wants them to happen. Cockiness is an illusion, an attitude and a lie; it is acting out to makeup for what a person lacks. Be forewarned: getting cocky is the surest way to lose a street fight, and it’s no different at the bargaining table.
Request a complementary excerpt from B2B Street Fighting by click below.