Let's Face It - Nobody Cares About Your Product
Define value. Go ahead, I’ll wait…
It’s a really tough word to describe, isn’t it? Even in the dictionary, where there are multiple definitions for the term, words like estimated, relevant, equivalent, and worth are thrown around. It means something different to everyone.
If you’re new to sales, you probably think you can make a call and tell your prospect everything they need to know about your product. You have a list of features and benefits a mile long, and you just can’t wait to talk about them. What happens? People hang up without scheduling a meeting with you. You send an email with screenshots from your website. How’s your response rate, or even your open rate?
When I was first starting in sales, I used to drop off these great brochures that told my prospects what we had available, just knowing that if it caught their eye, they’d call and want to meet with me. It was rare that they did, but you could see stacks of those shiny pieces of paper, from my company and others, going out with the trash every week.
You’ve Got Issues
You write your scripts with as many people in mind as possible, and it’s bland. It’s meant to please the masses, but thrills no one. Let’s face it, if you’re not really intrigued by something, you’re not taking any additional steps to move forward. So the people you present these scripts to in a cold email or phone call, aren’t motivated to do a whole lot with what you’re telling them.
You’re already sold on the product, (that’s why you took the job, right?) and you’re assuming that your prospects will be sold for the same reasons. But you’re telling them what you’re sold on, not whyyou’re sold on it.
Selling Is Not About Telling
There is still a belief out there that if you say the right thing to enough people, eventually somebody will buy. I guess that’s technically true, but is it the most effective way? I don’t think so, but it’s the closest thing to an instruction manual you can get. Salespeople who really don’t have a passion for what they do, and don’t want to put in any more effort than necessary, really like little formulas like this… 100 calls –> 10 appointments –> 2 eventual sales…
It hurt my feelings just to type that. That’s not selling- that’s walking down the beach with a metal detector. They say that if you give a thousand monkeys each a typewriter, you’ll eventually get a word or two…
Solve A Problem
If you want to create value for someone, you can’t just talk about what you have. Telling people what your product does or what your service provides only creates more noise in an already loud space. You need to solve a problem, or help your prospect achieve a goal or strategic objective. People are not interested in what you sell, they’re interested in the outcomes associated with what you sell.
Value Is Not An Ingredient In A Recipe
There’s no cookbook for sales. I can’t tell you the winning recipe for communicating value to each prospect you interact with. It’s going to be a little different for everyone. You and I may buy the same product, but it’s likely for completely different reasons.
You have to do the hard work up front to understand the challenges your customers face, and how you’re uniquely positioned to help them. What do you bring to the table that nobody else does? It’s likely not the widget that your company mass-produces. It’s probably more along the lines of attention to detail, anticipating needs before they become apparent, and being really easy to work with. Start having conversations along those lines, and see how much more effective your selling is.
Now go out and be great.