How to Stand out Before You Make the Sale
Stimulus and Response
“Sometimes we condition prospective customers to respond in a certain way: the way they are used to responding, based on past interactions with other companies and salespeople. Then we are frustrated or surprised when we don't get the reaction we hoped for.
How do we condition response? By not being available, being slow to return calls, waiting until the deadline to return an RFP response, talking about us first instead of them, pushing details instead of results, failing to ask the hard questions or say what we know should be said.
There's an easy fix, with ZERO cost: Don't act like other companies or other salespeople. Every action we take as salespeople from the first moment we connect with a prospect is an opportunity to model their future experience as a customer of our company. If we surprise the customer with our actions, that trumps our words, and sales becomes a preview of our services. Who would have thought that sales function in itself could be a competitive advantage?
Sales can't always do this alone: waiting for special pricing, or technical details, or countless other information that the customer requests may be outside of the salesperson's control. That's why there needs to be a company culture of urgency around aligning with and supporting the sales effort to respond quickly, respond early, and make resources available. This may also lead to improvements in process or technology that can improve overall efficiency.
While preview selling can't guarantee a sale, it can help you and your company to stand out from the crowd, and improve your chances for success