My co-author Brian Burns recently had a podcast that really hit home on an important issue: the power of change. Brian focused on three magic words that can make a huge difference in your sales efforts…“things have changed.”
In other words, part of being an effective sales person is the ability to play the role of expert without coming across as arrogant and without lecturing. When a client or a prospect expresses great comfort with the status quo (that is, they are telling you they have no interest in starting a purchasing journey to consider what you are offering) your ability to bring the subject of “change” into focus is one key to adding another opportunity to your sales funnel.
When you look at research into how buyers make complex purchasing decisions, one of the stark facts is that change is the engine that creates all opportunity for sellers. Think about it. Would any one organization or individual ever make a purchase unless something about the status quo had become unworkable or uncomfortable? Further, through the study of top 2% sales performers, one of the most prominent characteristics they all share is the ability to help a prospect/customer see “over the horizon” changes that they may need to make or want to make in the very near future. The more threatening or unsatisfying the status quo, the more urgent a purchase becomes.
Let me suggest one simple thing every seller can do with every opportunity that comes their way: Ask each of those who are contributing to the purchasing decision:
“What has changed that has made this kind of purchase important enough to occupy time and effort for you and your colleagues?”
You will be pleasantly shocked at what you will learn.
Tom Snyder is the founder of Funnel Clarity; a training and consulting company focused on humanizing sales. Snyder’s passion is helping companies achieve measurable sales performance improvement. Previously, Snyder spent 10 years with the sales training firm Huthwaite Inc, culminating in the role of CEO. He later founded Business Performance Partners, a sales and strategy consulting firm that evolved into Funnel Clarity. Snyder is a sought after international speaker and was named one of the Most Influential Sales Leaders. He has authored two McGraw Hill best sellers, “Escaping the Price Driven Sale” (2007) and “Selling in a New Market Space” (2010).