I was making a sales call on a large, well-recognized company. The call was going well, and it was clear we were going to move forward together. But I wasn’t done presenting what I wanted to present.
This client had a big, ugly issue that they needed to face in order to produce better results. Putting this issue on the table could cause the sales call to go one of two ways. It could have caused my dream client to disengage, believing that by bringing a difficult issue to the forefront, I was laying the groundwork for excuses as to why they couldn’t have the results they needed. Or it could have been perceived as deep subject matter expertise and an acknowledgement of my willingness and ability to help them with their real issues.
I put up three slides with statistics relating to the big issue we were discussing. My dream client gasped and covered her mouth with both hands in shock. She said, “My leadership team needs to see this now!”
How The Status Quo Wins
The reason so many deal end in a “no decision” is because the salesperson leading the deal hasn’t focused on building the case for change or built the consensus around that change. When the client decides to stick with the status quo, it doesn’t mean that their real needs went away, and it doesn’t mean they aren’t capable of producing better results.
More and more, you are going to be responsible for arming the contacts within your dream client’s company with the information, knowledge, and ideas about what has to change and why. This is how you create and win opportunities.
You are also going to have to help your dream client contacts round up the stakeholders necessary to build consensus around change. This is not only how you ensure your opportunity makes it to a decision, it’s how you help your dream client tackle their biggest issues.
What You Can Do Now
- What do you know about the trends in your industry (and your client’s) that, if shared with your dream client, would make them rethink how they are doing business?
- What could you share with the contacts you are working with that would arm them to have the discussions they need to have within the four walls of their organization?
- What do you have to share that is worthy of an audible gasp?
I know this isn’t an easy assignment. But it’s important. Spend sometime this week working on what you know that is “gasp-worthy” and how you can best share it with your dream client.
Oh, and don’t miss my Google Hangout with Dan Waldschmidt this Wednesday at 8:00 PM ET. We’re going to talk about Dan’s new book Edgy Conversations, and I promise you this conversation will get real very, very fast. Here’s the link, and do sign up: https://plus.google.com/events/crfl67salmr6taq54jbacp7unng?partnerid=gplp0