Why Customers Pay Attention to You
Do you know why your customers pay attention to you? Do you REALLY know why?
There is one and only one reason: you help them succeed.
That’s it. There is no other reason.
Executives and salespeople routinely ask me, “How do I position to win against my competitors?”
My answer, “Stop that! Position your customer to win against THEIR competitors.”
Their competitors can be external and internal. Of course, they may have a responsibility to make their product as competitive as possible. Yet remember, almost every customer you call on has a career path. Can you help them accelerate their career? Or do you bring risk to their career? Do you bring success or failure?
You may think that your customer is paying attention to you because of your products or services. At some level, that’s true. And that’s the obvious place where you compete for their budget. Yet, it goes way beyond that, especially in a competitive market.
Often the desireable difference between you and your competition is… YOU! The desireable difference is your experience, insights, and contacts that can make your customer more successful. These bring value way beyond your catalog of products. And savvy customers know it.
Three Ways to Get More Customer Attention
Want your customers to pay more attention to you? Here are three ways to rapidly accelerate your connection.
Everyone gets promoted based on their boss’s assessment of their consistently solid judgment. An executive or rising star will never introduce to their team someone who will embarrass or make them look bad. When that happens, their judgment gets questioned. It’s not worth the career risk.
An executive will never associate with someone who might embarrass them with their boss or peers.
This means you’ve got to have the demeanor, attire, and vocabulary of the people one or two levels above where you’re selling. And those people are likely to be from a different generation, so will judge differently. It may not be fair, but it’s the way it is.
Stop joking around. Stop being trendy. Stop acting cool. Stop trying to impress. Be safe. (This is why social media posts with red Solo cups can cripple a career.)
Become More Relevant
The secret to growing a relationship with a power decision maker is relevant repetition. Just like they promote those with consistently solid judgement, they’re going to only be impressed by consistent relevance from you.
Executives are only impressed by consistently relevant repetition.
This is why canned sales pitches kill relationships. The moment you pitch something that they’re not interested in, you’re going to take a relevance hit. Don’t get me wrong: I’m a big fan of scripting. It’s important to know what to say when the time is right. Be judicious about when you launch into a script knowing they’ll find what you say valuable and relevant.
Become more relevant by mapping their interests, their career path, and how they’re judged as being successful. You know how to do this: ask smart questions about what they’re planning on accomplishing, how they’re planning to do that, and what might be holding them back.
Become More Valuable
What generates value is always a moving target. That’s why sales pros always ask lots of questions before making specific value statements.
True sales professionals expand their value by going beyond today’s transaction and look at where customers are heading. To paraphrase Wayne Gretzky, they skate to where the puck is going to be.
Unless you can help your customer safely navigate the future, you have limited value.
Talk about their future. Talk about your insights into the future. Talk about plans to conquer the future.
When you help your customer more clearly see the future path, your value increases by 10x over the competition.
Let’s have a conversation about your experiences and what you want to change about how your team goes to market. If there’s a fit, we’ll design an approach that matches your culture and develops the right methods for a sustainable, scalable, and profitable operation. Using our insights, your experiences, and market research, we’ll adapt our sales model to select strategies and tactics that your sales team can intuitively use to do the right things at the right time to speed the deal and disrupt your market.
Get more great ideas like this from my weekly podcast, the Selling Disruption Show.