As a salesperson, you have limited time with clients, even your dream clients whom you can help most and can reap the greatest results from teaming with you. They have limited time (and sometimes, patience) for salespeople, so it’s your mission to create value for them during each sales interaction.
Sounds basic enough. But how do you create the kind of value that makes it easy for your clients to move forward with you? The easiest and best way is to serve them where they are in their buying process now—one of the following stages.
1. A Satisfied Client
When your dream clients are already happy, you might think that there is no way to create value for them. But this is where the best salespeople make the biggest difference and create the most value. It starts by helping the clients become unhappy. OK, not really unhappy, but dissatisfied.
Help them understand new things they could do to produce even better results right now. What do they need to know to do that? What do they need to change to notch their performance up a level or two? What will move them and their businesses forward? Sharing these ideas helps them break free from the trap that is the status quo.
2. A Client Who Is Evaluating Options
When your prospective clients know what they need, they still need help in making sense of all of the options. It’s hard to tell what might produce the result they need, what might not and who they can trust to deliver.
As your prospects evaluate options, create value by helping them understand the choices and any trade-offs they might have to make when it comes to price and performance. You also create value for them by differentiating yourself and your offering.
3. A Client Who Has Concerns
As your dream clients work through the process of deciding what to purchase and who to buy from, they will reach a stage where they deal with their fears and concerns. They worry, “Will this work?” They wonder, “Are we making the right decision?” and “Can we trust these people to do what they say they will do and to do it when they say they will?” Usually, they struggle to arrive at answers. This is especially true when the decision is big, expensive, complex or risky.
At this stage, create value by helping your clients resolve their concerns. You provide proof where proof is needed. You provide answers to questions that are causing lingering doubts. You also provide references or whatever your prospective client needs to be 100% confident in moving forward with you.
So figure out where your clients are in their buying process and then step up and meet the corresponding needs. You’ll win the value game every time.
This article was published in February 2015 and has been updated. Photo by @wilsvanzyl/Twenty20