You’ve heard this before but how much do you “walk the talk” when it comes to knowing your prospects?
Information is power in sales. The more you know about your prospect and their situation, the more likely you are to make a sale. If you’re in the dark, you’re not likely to bring up the right topics at the right time, and you’re way more likely to get a stack of objections.
1. What are your prospect’s goals?
Do you know what your prospect needs to get done in the next month, quarter and year? Do you know how they get measured? If you know your prospect’s goals, you have a chance to explain how you will help them get there. You can tie your value proposition statements into the key points that will help your prospect meet their goals.
Do you know anything about your prospect’s personal goals? These are often what really matter. Does your prospect want to get promoted, do they want to avoid being sacked? Many people in top jobs know their tenure is not forever (see these statistics about average CxO job duration.) How can you help your prospects stay in their jobs?
What other personal goals do they have? Maybe it’s something for their kids. You may not discover this kind of information initially but putting work in to get there can really pay off–knowing what really makes people tick, really helps.
2. What does “do nothing” look like?
Who is your biggest competitor? Most potential deals are not “lost” to a company that does just what you do. Most deals are lost to “status quo”.
Your prospect decides to do nothing. Things stay as they are. Most people find it hard to change. Change usually takes a lot of work and some pain. Hence, most people will stay where they are if the benefits to going through change are not large and obvious.
But does your prospect know what “do nothing” really brings them, especially in the future? Do they know the full impact of leaving things as they are? Do they know all the implications of this? Could things get ugly later on if they don’t change something now?
What happens in the future if they do change? How much sunnier will the future be? Have you explained all this very clearly to your prospect? Have you laid this out numerically and in $ terms and also in personal terms (see #1 above?)
3. What plans does your buyer have in place?
What plans does your prospect have to hit their goals? Will they likely get there without you and your solution? Can you show them how your product will help them hit or exceed their goals (and keep their job?) If you can explain this clearly, they may actually start listening to you for real!
What are the likely risks/scenarios hidden in your prospect’s plan that you can highlight for them and help them remove? Does your offering help them mitigate risk? Can you explain this to your prospect clearly? Can you explain how their chances of success go up by including you in their plans for next year?
Try on your prospect’s shoes “mentally”. Have you thought about the angles above for each of your key prospects? Do you need to do some more research and ask some more questions to clarify the case for working with you?
Most prospects (aka people!) have New Year’s resolutions. Can you tell your key prospects how you will help them make next year a great year? If not, it may be time to mentally try on your prospect’s shoes.