The third core concept of CustomerCentric Selling states:
People Buy from People Who Are Sincere and Competent and Who Empower Them.
Let’s try to figure out what this means to the salesperson!
In today’s competitive market, a salesperson must be sincere and competent merely to get the opportunity to compete. But possessing these qualities are merely the cost of membership, not leadership in the ranks of true sales professionals.
Many technology companies actually still believe that they can win simply by putting a superior product on the table and talking up its features. Research demonstrates that a traditional salesperson is just as effective as the high performer in explaining features and benefits effectively and closing a sale. This is the typical “here’s what you need” approach so many traditional salespeople use. And this approach does work – if you are talking to an expert buyer! But are you actually selling anything there – or are you merely taking an order from a buyer who is smart enough to understand on his own how to use your product? Working this way will not differentiate you from the ranks of the average, traditional salespeople employed by your competitors.
Key to Differentiation Lies in Buyer Participation
How do you as a salesperson differentiate yourself from the competition? The key to real differentiation lies in allowing the buyer to actively participate in the conversation and making sure that he is confident in retaining the ownership of his goals, problems and needs.
By having a meaningful and sincere discussion with the buyer you can demonstrate your competence by showing that you understand his situation – while communicating clearly, that the buyerindeed owns achievement of his or her goals. This is what we mean by empowering the buyer.
When the buyer sees that you first understand his current situation, goals and problems, only then have you earned the opportunity in the buyer’s eyes to help him or her to understand how he or she can achieve the goals, or solve the problems, with the product you are offering.