When I first started in sales, part of the job required learning everything we could about the product or service we were selling. Prospects utilized sales people as a source of information about new technologies and how they could be used to help them solve their problems. Our objective back then was to become a ‘walking talking brochure.’
In today’s B2B world though, it’s just not enough to know everything about what you have to offer. Phrases like “Our product has been rated highest in quality, and our service is the most responsive” may be true, but they lost their relevance as soon as everybody started using them.
Today’s business decision makers do a lot of research. They understand the ups and downs of business. They know what drives their market. If they didn’t, they wouldn’t be in their positions for very long. They probably know a lot about what you are selling too.
B2B is business to business, not business to sales. Decision makers don’t have a lot of extra time set aside for you to sell to them. They want to talk business. If you want to get their attention, impress them with your knowledge of business and trends in their market. Strive to understand their perspective on ROI, the customers they serve, and their business drivers.
Today, sales people have to be business people too. That means spending time on research, and understanding business fundamentals. The advantage of this approach is two-fold. Decision makers are more likely to agree to meet with you and listen to your insights when you speak their language. It can also save you time in the long run. When you do your research, you will be in a better position to decide where to invest your valuable time, or better yet, you might discover a group of opportunities and prospects you hadn’t seen before.
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