The best way to ensure the year finishes strong is to start strong.
The best way to start strong is to sync with your key customers.
One of the biggest mistakes business-to-business sales executives make is to assume they fully understand what their customer’s top priorities are. The world is changing so fast with so many disruptive competitive entrants, NEVER assume last year’s priorities will carry forward.
Structuring your first customer call of the year is simple. Find out your buyer’s previous year’s top three successes and top three challenges. Next, ask to truly understand what the buyer’s core goals are for the year ahead. Finally, determine what you can do to help your buyer exceed their objectives.
It seems so straightforward, yet so few take these simple steps.
Where top sales professionals really differentiate themselves is by taking one added step. They not only understand their buyer’s goals, they understand their buyer’s bosses’ goals. The surest way to gain alignment with your buyer is to help that person make their boss look like a rock star.
Here’s a quick outline to plan for high performance in the year ahead.
- Clarify What Has Changed – Clearly understand the core pressures your customer is under. (Don’t make excuses; EVERY Company is under pressure to grow.)
- Clarify Their Performance Objectives – Make the time to fully understand how your buyer(s) are NOW being evaluated. Openly explain your commitment to help your buyer(s) achieve their performance objectives. The better you can align your solutions with their goals, the higher the probability of success.
- Communicate Your Candid Intentions – It’s obvious your job as a sales executive is to build relationships and ultimately sell your products or services. To simplify your success, stop selling and start solving problems. Overtly share your intentions to fully understand your buyer’s challenges, frustrations and expectations. Then commit to using your expertise to facilitate meaningful solutions.
- Courageously Seek Reciprocity – The golden rule is golden for a reason. It’s of high value. By doing onto others, there is a high probability buyers will help you. Simply ask if you help your buyer achieve their goals, will they be open to helping you do the same. Seek synergy. Prioritize your time and efforts accordingly.
- Commit to Help Others Succeed – Too many sales executives push their products vs. seek to understand and solve customer problems. Considering every entrepreneur and business executive is fundamentally a problem identifier and successful solver, shamelessly use this simple formula. Focus your efforts on helping others succeed. Then follow through.
One of the most important lessons all executives must learn is to make the complex simple.
One of the simplest formulas for selling success is to help your buyers succeed.
Making others’ lives easier will come back to you in kind.
If you are a business owner or C-Suite executive and are ready for some objective insights into building a stronger business, contact me to determine if your company qualifies for a complimentary live Executive Brief aptly named:
Boom, Bust, Boom – 7 Steps to Building a Booming Business
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