WATCH: Step Change Founding Partner, Jeff Cooper, on the four myths in B2B that salespeople need to know.
Myth #1 - The Proposal Is Everything
The proposal is not the be all and end all. It’s a false belief that if you put the proposal in front of them, they will do business with you. The truth is, the strength of your relationship with your customer is what creates conversions and sales. Focus on delivering high-value and high-quality human interactions with your customers.
Myth #2 - Focus on Your Competitors
When you are speaking with customers, it will do you no good to focus too much on your competitors. The best you can do is parody. And this isn’t a way to win the sale. It’s a way to look average. Your goal should be to become better than your competitor. Rather than telling your customers how the competitors are selling and what their messaging is, focus on what they need.
Myth #3 – Technique Is More Important than Intent
The truth — your intent is actually more important than your technique. Customers aren’t looking for slick salespeople. In fact, slick salespeople aren’t trusted. What customers are looking for in salespeople are those who are knowledgeable and trustworthy. The attachment to selling customers something is what causes a lot of discomfort on the customer’s end. This doesn’t ‘feel’ good. If we sit down genuinely to help them and understand their problem, we will actually end up selling them something of value. The more forceful you are, the less likely you’ll close the sale.
Myth #4 - Relationship Selling
Relationships are important, but there has been a shift in the way sales happen in B2B. It’s the rise of the challenger sale. Relationship sales mean forming relationships; while this is still important, you also need to be able to challenge the customers and make them see something in a different way. To be noticed and be relevant, you need to change the way the customer thinks about a particular issue.
The rise of the challenger sale is about being their personal trainer — presenting the information in an engaging and thought-provoking way and questioning the current way they operate their business. Having a conversation with them about these things creates value for your customers, and they will see you as someone genuinely engaging with them, not just someone who is trying to make an opportunity to sell something.