I guess (or at least I hope) many of you will know what I am talking about. You’re coming out of a meeting with a customer, and you know the deal is in your pocket.
You could feel the magic spark during the meeting. Momentum built – ‘yes, but…’ turned into ‘yes, and…’ The feeling is just right.
What inspires me intensely is what’s creating this magic. I mean, how often does it happen that, once you got a foot into the door with a customer that fits perfectly in your target market, but still you struggle to control the sales process? The difference can feel like day and night.
One thing I have come to learn the hard way is that it’s not about our functionality. That’s table-stakes. You have to deliver the basics to be even considered. What matters is to realize that we’re dealing with people. One person is not the other. One values this, the other values that. And that’s OK.
Where the magic happens is in the moments where they see that you ‘get’ them. And that’s about empathy and being honest with your prospect and yourself.
- That starts with active listening to understand what’s actually underneath the detailed requirements they share with you.
- It’s about connecting the relevant dots between their project and the bigger picture.
- It’s about asking better questions to dig deeper, to reveal the essence of what keeps them worried when they leave the office at night.
- But it’s also about being at ease with the fact that your solution is not the best for everyone.
- And having the guts to admit that ‘this’ customer might be better off with your competitors’ solution – not because you can’t meet their functional or technical specs – but because they’d never become your advocate.
- And that’s what it’s really about.
That magic click in meetings arrives when you’re talking on the same wavelength. Where your customer realizes you have something different that will help them make a difference.
Where their initial hesitance and distrust turns into a deep desire.
This all becomes way easier when you have your Value Foundation in place. The foundation that spells out who you’re for and who not. That helps you position in a way you instantly stand out for the right people. That gives you the ammunition to drive relevant and meaningful conversations and create positive tension.
How often does your sales team come back to the office, telling you about that magic click with that prospect? If too little, start working on your Value Foundation.