Selling to the modern day buyer requires that you enter the world of the modern day buyer. They feel their buying options are endless, constant interruptions from emails and social media alerts have significantly damaged their ability focus, they are told different things from each vendor they contact, yet believe themselves to be more informed than ever.
This creates a complex and interesting situation for account managers.
The only remedy is to be open to trying new and perhaps unconventional tactics in order to differentiate from the competition.
In order to get you started, our recruiters have listed 3 key strategies to not only adapt and survive in today’s marketplace, but thrive with continuous revenue generation.
1. There is a difference between managing and closing a sales cycle. Not everyone has learned to formulate creative methods regarding how to bring a deal to its close in the desired timeframe. Contrary to popular belief, you can’t close a smart client more rapidly by offering a better price; it’s an outdated tactic that backfires in one of a few ways:
a. The client will take that price as the new jump-off for further negotiations often disregarding time restraints.
b. Preemptive negotiation can and will often be construed as a weakness.
If you do have to utilize the price-cut tactic, have a definitive reason for doing so. Simply wanting to close a deal is not a strong enough argument for any intelligent prospect to move forward.
A more effective resolution may be to get creative in your arguments. Instead of using the price cut strategy, other avenues such as your firm’s ability to divert resources going forward may be questionable.
2. Be Aware of Overestimating Client Knowledge and Insight
When a sales representative begins asking a prospect questions, they do so with the assumption that the client is an expert on the topic. Inevitably, this leads them down a problematic path.
When an account manager overestimates a buyer’s knowledge, their tendency is to ask open-ended sales questions such as “what are you looking for?” or “when are you looking to move forward?”
Not only do these questions make you appear generic and uninformed, they assume that the client knows exactly what they need or when they need it. Frequently, they are inaccurate as to their needs and the severity of their problem.
Regardless, if you ask them, you’ll indefinitely get an answer.
The problem is that once that individual gives a response, if they are wrong, you are going to create an enemy correcting them or sometimes even suggesting contrary solutions.
Even worse, if there are multiple people present, you’ll get a varying response from everyone at the meeting.
Our recruiters and sales staffing professionals should stress the fact that people like to have their opinions heard; therefore, once one individual answers, the other parties will probably be inclined to do so as well. Too many opinions wastes time, complicates the process and often results in the sales representative having to address too many impertinent issues.
3. Be honest regarding what is and what is not working. For many, it’s exceedingly difficult to admit that a sales process is flawed especially when significant time, effort and personal ego has been invested in the current methods.
The world changes and yet we expect it to be the way we think it should be so we don’t take action. We don’t want to recognize change because it’s painful, stressful and brings upon a period of uncertainty.
However, the successful account manager gains the ability to view change as an opportunity for improvement.
When a sales professional attempts to be the same as everyone in their space, they are treated as a commodity and endure much longer, much more unpredictable sales cycles.
In the event they do win the account, the buying firm will often squeeze profit margins through aggressive negotiation prior to signing on.
In the End
On the surface, buyers may appear impersonal and unappreciative…unless you implement workable strategies to personalize the process.
This article was syndicated from Business 2 Community: The Complexities of Entrepreneurial Selling in 2015
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