Years ago when I was a Regional Sales Manager with Sprint, I remember a particular annual sales kick off meeting at which Bill Esrey spoke.
At that time Bill was Sprint’s CEO and he said that in order to close more business you need to develop your value proposition “on the fly” when meeting with your prospect.
I couldn’t believe what I was hearing.
In my sales meetings, and one on one coaching sessions, I put a great deal of emphasis on preparation. I encouraged my team to prepare their value statement and “product pitch” in advance of meetings so they would be ready when the time came to explain to the prospect how they would benefit from doing business with Sprint.
However, as Bill continued it became clear to me what he was really saying.
His point was that even though there are similarities from one prospect to another, as it relates to their telecommunication needs, there were also areas in which they were unique.
Of course what he was talking about was consultative selling.
His talk helped me understand that when you go into one sales call after another with a predetermined value proposition and “product pitch” you are taking a one size fits all strategy.
This approach significantly limits the number of prospects that you will bond with to the degree necessary to stand out from the competition.
Some prospects will connect with your pitch, but in reality, most won’t.
When he said “create the value proposition on the fly” he was advising us to know enough about the prospect’s industry, their company and the person you are meeting with so that you can present your product and solution in a way that aligns with their needs.
Bill’s advice is as powerful today as it was 20 years ago.
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