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 This model is completely outdated given the current demands of procurement agents and business people.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.
This has some implications to product managers and marketing in terms of the data they supply you with and will be explored in future posts.