Ever been in a meeting where the salesperson whipped out their laptop and insisted in going through a long presentation?

Slide after slide of boring detail of how their solution worked.  While your eyes glazed over.

All truly successful salespeople understand a fundamental irony.  They can’t be salespeople.  They know their clients cannot be “sold to” and must want “to buy”.

The only way to accomplish this is to have prospects come to their own conclusions.  With your help of course.  Which is where “selling” comes in.

When coaching salespeople in how to conduct meetings with prospects, I tell them to walk in naked!

Well, metaphorically.

Ditch the laptop, IPad, brochures and every other prop.

Walk in with pen and paper and a recorder.

Your job is to ask questions that elicit two things.

“Why” and “What if?”

Why should they listen to you.  What insights into their issues can you bring?  How well do you understand them and what they’re going through?  Their known spoken about problems as well as what they don’t speak about openly.

And their aspirations.  What they would really love to have happen.  The “What if”.  What would things be like once they’ve implemented a solution.

Yes, they will want to know the details and how the solution will be implemented, but only once they’re convinced of the Why and What if.

We were in a presentation on block chain recently.

Knowledgeable chap who went into excruciating detail about bitcoin, hashing keys and how the system worked without answering two fundamental questions.

Why should I be interested in this technology and what else could we do with it.

This what I pieced together.

Essentially block chain comes down to one word, “security”.  Security that something you value can’t be stolen, forged or altered.  Be it money, documents or physical items that define authenticity in a supply chain.

That’s a “global” perspective and would have answered the “why” question.  Why is block chain an important technology wherever every party needs to trust the security and it’s not open to being easily hacked.

Use analogies we’d understand.

We all understand the concept of a ledger where we record a specific piece of information.

The risk of a single ledger is anyone could steal, alter or forge it.  But what if there were multiple copies of the same ledger, all independently owned and controlled by others and at least 51% of these had to agree that the information was correct?

Then no one person could alter the ledger and have it accepted.  Makes the information (in the case of a bitcoin completely secure).

Block chain is simply a distributed ledger.

What are the possibilities?

Where block chain is being used in different industries.  Help your prospects understand the payoffs of adopting your solution.  What the tangible and intangible results would be.

Give me lots of case study examples that relate back to common issues.

Sure, bitcoin and other crypto currencies are one, but where else can a distributed ledger system add value?  Where else is trusted authentication which doesn’t rely on one “authority” matter?

Back to your prospects…

Only once they’ve convinced themselves of the “why” and “possibilities” are they likely to be interested in the what and how it works.

So next time you’re going into a sales conversation, ditch the props and go in naked.

I realise this could be a completely different mindset and sales methodology for many of you.  So if you want to improve your sale team’s performance when selling complex B2B deals we can coach and train you and your team one on one or as a group.  Contact Rashid for more details.

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