Prospect Your Way to Selling Success – Step 2: “Why Meet?”
If you understand and implement the principles offered in Step One, you will get the prospect’s attention. As the suit guy says, “I guarantee it.” Like unexpectedly jumping out from behind a door, there are some predictable things you can do to control eyeballs when facing obstacles to prospecting. The next step is a bit more challenging:
Step Two: Answer the Question, “Why Meet?”
Why meet? Answering this question is one of the prospecting challenges you will undoubtedly face. As you will see, the answer to this question is simple to understand but difficult to execute. The best answer requires two components:
1. You know something they don’t.
2. You offer something they can’t get.
Let’s tackle them in order.
1. You Know Something They Don’t
Decision makers, the real decision makers, don’t meet with sales reps. They delegate the tasks of sifting through vendors to someone else. So how do you tackle one of the most common obstacles to prospecting? Don’t be the typical sales rep who only offers information the decision maker can find with Google. Tell them something they don’t know about the best way to solve their problems.
Think of it this way: If you were speaking at a conference to a room full of decision makers, what tidbit of wisdom, best practice, or principle could you share that would be so surprising and important, everyone would write it down? For this to occur, it would have nothing to do with your solution, but 100% related to helpful information previously unknown about the best way to solve their problem.
This pearl of wisdom is the most compelling information you can share in an email, introduction, LinkedIn message, or voicemail, or if you do happen to be speaking at a conference. It elevates your value and moves you from a seller-of-stuff to someone who might be worth meeting with.
If you’re thinking, “Where do I get this information?” then you’re on the right track. But as I said in my previous blog, it’s time for some needed education. This information you seek is available. It most likely lives in your organization and, definitely, in the collective wisdom of your current customers. The only thing required to elevate your status from sales rep to consultant is the desire and tenacity to obtain it.
2. You offer something they can’t get internally or externally
The next step in overcoming prospecting challenges is to focus on only what you can offer.
List every benefit of the product, service, or solution you are offering. If the benefit is offered by the competition or the prospect can get the same benefit from an internal resource, scratch it. Whatever you are left with, lead with that.
Remember to avoid the features and focus on the unique benefit you offer. The goal here is to create an interest in knowing more. Once you engage, you will have time to answer questions related to how the benefit is delivered. Here, your goal is to separate yourself from all the other sellers who are sending lengthy, boring emails filled with laundry lists of stuff that no one cares about, least of all the decision maker.
One more thing: you need to accomplish this in 100 words or less. Your message must be tight. The decision maker’s attention span is short, very short. If your brilliantly crafted message takes longer than 20 seconds to say or read, it’s just noise.
By focusing on the prospect’s problem, demonstrating you have unique expertise needed to solve their problem, and offering a benefit no one else can, you’ve overcome these obstacles to prospecting by developing the best possible answer to their question, “Why meet?”
Stay tuned for Step 3 where I explore how to move the prospect from interest to action.
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The best way to get to know us is to know what we value. If we teach it we live it, because what we do speaks far more eloquently than what we say. We’ll always choose people over profits, and we’re most fulfilled and effective when we serve. It drives our culture, frames our training programs and transforms the lives of the clients we partner with.