Remember these Phrases to Sell More Deals
Categories: Sales Conversation
If you’ve been around Force Management for any bit of time, you know that we have some phrases we repeat often. Here are three:
- “How big is the problem?”
- “Help them get to a place they can’t get to on their own”
- “What you do matters”
They’re simple, but powerful reminders for any of us in sales. Put them on your mirror. Write them down in your journal. Instagram them. Recite them over and over as you develop sales strategies and progress your opportunities.
1. “How big is the problem?”
We often write about how sellers can avoid stalled deals and improve margins by attaching to the biggest business problems of their buyer. Part of executing a great discovery is helping your customer feel comfortable sharing business problems. These authentic conversations can be a challenge for inexperienced sellers and as a result they may:
- Only uncover problems that are low-level in nature, ones that don’t lead to those business-level issues (and big dollars)
- Run with the first thing they hear from their buyer contacts, without digging deeper or uncovering the biggest problems (or how the problem affects other parties higher, wider and deeper in the organization)
- Fail to earn the right to move the deal forward, because their questioning caused the buyer to clam up
Uncovering that pain through your discovery process and attaching to it takes focus. It requires discipline around key sales fundamentals like active listening, pre-call planning, and the ability to articulate a value-based conversation. Here are some sales discovery strategies that can enable you to uncover big business pain:
- Start by setting up the right flow of questions. Preparing your discovery questions in a way that focuses on your buyer (not your solutions) can help you earn the right to keep talking and differentiate yourself from the competition
- Prepare to listen in a way that enables you to dig deeper or pivot decisively. This podcast convers key tips you can use to actively listen in a way that enables you to focus on high-level problems and avoid running with the first few things you hear
- Confidently ask tough discovery questions, but earn the right to ask them. If you want to find the business issue with the biggest dollars behind it, you have to ask the meaningful questions that get a prospect to realize the impact their problem is having on their business and their future in the company
Remember, always be discovering!
You will have to repeat the steps above in various conversations with your buyer prospects and other key decision makers who will take part in the deal. Discovery is not a singular event, elite sellers discover business problems early and often.
Business problems, implications and negative consequences will differ from decision maker to decision maker. In today’s sales environment, deals involve more and more key players. Meaning you’ve got to attach to and articulate how your solutions solve multiple high-level business problems.
If you have deals that are critical this quarter or the next, make sure you’re always aligned with the biggest business problems facing your customer. If you’re hearing new problems, if things are changing, ensure you’re always curious and always discovering.
2. “Help them get to a place they can’t get to on their own”
We say this phrase when we talk about the importance of aligning the required capabilities (solution requirements) with the negative consequences the customer needs to stop and the positive business outcomes they want to achieve.
As you uncover the business-level problems and the positive business outcomes your buyers are looking to achieve, help them form the required capabilities with your differentiators in mind. In forming the solution requirements, you should also be demonstrating why it’s important they pick your solution, rather than doing it internally. This part of the sales conversation, aligned to the positive business outcomes, can help your customer see that with your solution they can achieve positive business outcomes that wouldn't otherwise be possible.
3. “What you do matters”
You may have heard our Co-Founder John Kaplan mention this phrase. It’s important because as a salesperson, you have to believe that what you do matters for your buyers and frankly for yourself. This phrase and mentality can help you be uncommon in your market in a way that sets you ahead of the competition. Remember, there's as much differentiation in how you sell, as there is in what you sell.
As a seller, when you can tie your solutions to solving big business problems for your buyers, you align what you do to a purpose. For example, if you’re looking to instill value in your offering by attaching to business problems of multiple buyers, keeping this phrase in mind can help you get buyers to see beyond just their department or business problems. Which in turn, can help you get in-front of other key decision makers higher, wider and deeper in your buyer’s organization.
It starts by getting your buyer to see what they do matters. How your buyers work through their business problems will connect to and affect other people in their organization. Solving a technical issue for your prospect, may help the product team solve another issue, and marketing solve a related issue, and the solutions will trickle on. How you help your buyer understand what they do and what you do matters, can help you tell a story and connect the technical world with the business world (aka, the positive business outcomes of multiple buyers in the organization). When you can make this connection, selling becomes much easier.
Hone your ability to win more:
In this podcast, John Kaplan covers why these three phrases can help you sell more . He also explores how you can get buyers to come to a conclusion that what they do (and what you do) matters. Tune in to this podcast on “Remember these phrases, sell more deals” and subscribe to the Audible-Ready Podcast to hear weekly episodes you can use to sharpen your sales skills.