Learn how to avoid becoming a commodity and how to reframe the information on the web.
- The internet changed the world of sales forever. Research from our client, Hootsuite, found that 70% of the buyer's journey is now online. That means your buyer is no longer dependent on you, the salesperson, for everything. 2/3 of their buying time is spent online. They know your features. They know your reviews. They know what other customers are saying about you, and in most cases, they already know your pricing. Now that sounds scary because it might seem as though it belittles the role of the salesperson, but it's not actually a negative, because here's the good news.
A buyer can research things on their own. So if you were sitting in front of them, that means they like what they found. This is your deal to win. With knowledge comes power. Your buyer has more knowledge and power than they used to have and so do you. You've got the internet in your pocket too. You should know who your buyer is, where they worked before, what are people saying about them. You should also know the organization's goals. What did their chairman say in the annual report? What are the key priorities? How might what you sell help them achieve their strategic goals? See, your buyer is no longer dependent on you for all the information and you're not dependent on them.
So instead of asking what are the organization's goals, you can say I know the organization's goal is to open 12 new markets. What will your role be in that process? You know, some people say the internet has dumb down the conversation, and if you look at some people's Facebook feed, that might be true, but the internet has also improved the conversations you could have with your buyer, because you both come to the meeting with more robust information. You see, your job is to discern what your buyer already knows about you so you don't waste their time.
You wanna shepherd the conversation so that it doesn't go straight to price. Let me show you what I mean. Imagine Stephanie. She sells advisory services. She walks into her buyer's office and the potential customer says, "I've looked over your website "and I'm really interested in program X." Well, what would typically happen next? If Stephanie's like most salesperson, she'd get really excited while they're interested and she would jump into a description of the program. It seems like it's really going well because the buyer's already interested, but what happens is Stephanie actually bypassed over the value conservation.
So let's look at how she can reframe that conversation, validate the buyer, and then shepherd it to get it going where she wants to. So the buyer says, "I've looked over your website "and I'm really interested in program X." Now Stephanie says, "Oh, great, you've done your homework. "What about that program would be valuable to you?" Can you see how that's gonna create an entirely different conversation? What's happening now is the client is describing the potential value.
So never be afraid of a client who researched you online. Validate the time they spent by saying things like wow, I really appreciate you looking at our site, because what this does, it positions you, the salesperson, as a high valued resource. You're the next step in their process. So the internet created an age of transparency and this is a very good thing for ethical business people who believe in adding value. Now if you're deceitful or manipulative to your buyer, they will uncover it and they will also broadcast it.
- Negotiating with noble purpose
- Three kinds of sales negotiation
- Why deals fall apart
- Spotting and diffusing negotiation traps
- Asking for their boss
- Negotiating via email
- Avoiding renegotiating sales