You’ve got a hot prospect. You need a face-to-face opportunity to sell your product and services. So you stop by, without an appointment, hoping to make it past the receptionist and catch the decision maker in a rare unscheduled moment. “I was in the vicinity, and thought I’d just stop by to say hello.” Well, at least you tried.
Of course, there is a place for pleasantries and the social aspects of business, but let’s not confuse those with a sales call. Many salespeople focus on their own comfort area, on social calls and lunch dates – or the product pitch. And as a result, the sales process never gets off the ground. Before you try to meet with someone, you must ask yourself “What is the reason this person is meeting with me?”
At Miller Heiman we call it a Valid Business Reason. It gives the potential buyer a reason for spending time with you. Having a Valid Business Reason for every sales call, whether in person or on the phone, is the considerate way of doing business. It tells buyers, no matter how long you’ve known them, that you’ve given some thought to their current challenges and that you’re looking for solutions that are “valid” to them.
Top sales performers understand the challenges of their customers 21% better than the competition.
(Source: 2006 Miller Heiman Sales Performance Study)
What is a Valid Business Reason?
1. It’s Valid: It’s all about the customer. Valid to customers means it’s worth making time to hear about how you can help solve a problem that keeps them up at night.
2. It’s Business: Research shows that many sales calls are too general and unfocused to be useful to buyers or sellers. Do your homework and manage your selling time. Understand their business. What are their challenges? What are they trying to fix, accomplish or avoid?
3. It’s a Good Reason: Not your reason. The customer’s reason – for taking time out of a busy schedule for you, rather than spending it on other priorities. Tell the customer what you’d like to meet about and why you think this could be of value. It’s about solutions. How can your solution help what they want to fix, accomplish or avoid. You are specific, because you’ve done your homework.
Now, write it down in 25 words or less, so it can be left on a voice mail or with a receptionist. And remember, it’s always from the customer’s point of view.
By defining your Valid Business Reason, you’ll never again make a “cold call”. You’re doing strategic planning before every call – even the first visit to a new prospect. And your ability to get “face time” is improving dramatically.
For a deeper look, and to learn how to create winning Valid Business Reasons, the Miller Heiman Conceptual Selling® workshop shows you how to:
- Sell the way customers buy.
- Get beyond the product pitch.
- Reach decision makers.
- Sell a win-win solution.
- Craft winning Valid Business Reasons … that get you face to face.
These recommendations are based on Miller Heiman’s proven sales system. Our system provides a repeatable approach to use with every opportunity to close more deals, fast. If you’d like more information on this topic, or would like to discuss the results you’d like to improve, visit us at http://www.millerheiman.com and we’ll recommend a solution that will best address your needs.