Ian Altman 00:02
Welcome to the Same Side Selling podcast. I am your host, Ian Altman. Where do sales conversations go to die and what causes them to die? That is the topic for this week’s episode, I very often get people in our Same Side Selling Academy Coach’s Corner, we do these monthly sessions with all of our members to roleplay and talk about different challenges they’re facing in real life sales situations. And very often people will say to me, Well, here’s what went wrong at the final meeting with this client. And then the deal went sideways, and we lost the deal. What did we do in that last meeting? And what I want you to realize is that most often, the problem had nothing to do with the last meeting, unless the last meeting was your only meeting, meaning it was also your first meeting. If you want to get top results for your team, take a look at the Same Side Selling Academy, just visit same sideselling.com to learn more. See, the thing we need to realize is that very often, the dynamics and the interaction that we have with our potential clients is all set up, not in the last meeting but in the first meeting. And what I mean by that is that when we meet with potential clients, we can show up in one of two ways, we can either show up as someone who is there to sell something, or we can show up as someone who is there to solve something. It’s like on social media, we get people connected with on LinkedIn on Twitter, and they immediately start trying to sell us something. And we’ve all been conditioned, so that when someone is trying to sell us something, our immediate reaction is no thanks. Just looking, or no thanks get away from me. Because the perception is that the seller is interested more in their own things and their own goals than they are in the client’s goals. I refer to this as the new form of ADD, called axis displacement disorder. That’s where the individual believes the axis of the Earth has shifted. And now the seller thinks the world revolves around themselves. And it really doesn’t work that way. So what are the things that you can do early in the process to make it so the client sees that you’re not just looking out for the sale? Well, the first thing you have to do is actually not just be interested in the sale. In fact, you have to acknowledge that not everyone is the right fit for you. And if you know that not everyone is the right fit for you, then you start behaving a little bit differently, instead of trying to push everybody or drag everybody, once again, using force one way or another. Instead, what you do is you start becoming curious, you start asking better questions, you start maybe even getting a little bit skeptical, and you think to yourself, Does this person really have a need? If they don’t solve this? Is it a big deal or not a big deal? If it’s a big deal, then I have to determine whether or not I can actually help them achieve the results that they’re looking for? If it’s not a big deal for them, then why are we spending time even working on a solution? And if I don’t think I can give them the best solution, then why am I even in the conversation, because I should be focused on the people for whom I can have the greatest impact. And I should not waste my time with the people who maybe I could help. But someone else could probably help them better. If you start focusing more on the results with your clients, if you start focusing more on why they might need something and acknowledge that maybe half the people you talk to are a good fit for how you approach things, then all of a sudden, you can connect at a much more authentic level. It’s that notion of when someone reaches out to you on LinkedIn. And they say, Oh, gee, I loved your profile. And I’d love to connect with you. What’s your initial reaction? You’re thinking? What is it that this fool wants to try and sell to me? But what if instead, they said, here are the two things that caught my attention about your profile, we help a lot of people just like you. But I don’t even know if you’re facing those issues. If you are, we might have something worth talking about. And if not, it’s probably not a good use of either of our time to have a discussion. But I’d still be happy to connect with you. That level of authenticity, that level of being genuine is something that could actually entice someone’s interest, it could get them to say to you, you know what, maybe I would like to speak to this person, maybe I would give them a little bit of my time and attention because I believe that they actually might be looking to connect authentically, they might actually be someone I’d want to get to know not just someone who’s trying to sell me something. Once again, you can either show up as someone who’s there to sell something, or someone who’s there to solve something. So how do we further emphasize that level of solve? Well, if you think about the buyer seller interaction, the buyer seller journey, the initial contact is the starting block. What’s the finish line? Where’s that finish line? Where we’re all high fiving and celebrating and saying, Wow, we did it, we accomplished our result. For people in sales, most people will say, it’s getting the order, closing the sale, which by the way, is a bad term in of itself. We should never use the term of closing the sale because not closing anything. In fact, Jim Cathcart is one of the legends in the sales world in Jim has, Jim, when we’re having a conversation, one point said, look, I think closing the sale is a bad term, because we’re not closing anything. We’re opening a relationship or starting to work together. Why do we use the term close? I agree with Jim, I think it’s a big mistake. What if instead of focusing on the sale, we were focused on the results? What if we said to our clients and prospects, just because you spend money with us doesn’t mean that you’re going to get the results that would make this worthwhile? What can you and I measure together to make sure that you can hold us accountable, and we can hold ourselves accountable to those types of results? And your client or prospect will probably say, well, here’s what we would actually measure together. Okay, even if we delivered everything we said we would deliver what might prevent you from getting those results, because I want to make sure we think through anything that could get in the way of you actually achieving those types of results. Can you see where by taking that sort of approach, all of a sudden, now you stand out as someone who’s there to solve your focus more on the results than just the sale? See, if you’re just focused on the sale, you wouldn’t really care if they got the results. You’d be content that you got the ordering and move on to somebody else. But if you truly care about the results, you would say, Well, what might prevent you from getting those results? And the client might say, Well, if we didn’t have the right training and support, Okay, should we include that level of training and support in our proposal to you? So if you ask the right questions, they may actually give you that information right up front. And imagine now if we’re focused on the results, that instead of in that last meeting the client feeling like we’re trying to drag them into a deal. Instead, we get to say to them, so are you as confident as I am that we’re going to see these results? Yes. Okay. Would you like our help? And now I get to ask whether or not they would like our help in solving a problem, rather than what’s it going to take for me to get your business. So when we lose a deal in the 11th hour when you, “lose a deal”, in that last meeting, recognize it’s probably not the last meeting, it was probably the first meeting that set you up as someone to sell and not solve. And if you can flip that script, so that now you show up as someone who’s there to solve instead of someone who’s there to sell. That’s where you can generate a genuine connection with your clients that will lead to better results for them. And for you. See you next week on the Same Side Selling podcast.