By John Holland, Chief Content Officer, CustomerCentric Selling® – The Sales Training Company
If you ask a seller what their company does, what percentage answers the question in 15 seconds or less? It seems odd to me that many sellers have not formulated succinct responses to a question they often will be asked either in social settings or during sales calls.
This is a question buyers ask early in sales calls sometimes to transition from rapport to the business at hand. It should be the equivalent of hitting a softball off a batting tee.
Concise answers help establish a seller’s competence.
How often, however, do sellers provide vague, rambling responses? When this happens buyers may sneak peeks at their watches. Many lower their expectations for the outcomes of calls. In social settings long answers make the person that asked the question scan the room to see whom else they may want to talk to and think about how to cut the ongoing conversation short.
A few simple guidelines for creating good positioning statements:
1. Start with the words: “We help..”
2. Focus on results clients realize
3. Try to use 20 words or less
4. Avoid buzz words people may not understand
When asked what CustomerCentric Selling® does, my response is:
“We help clients improve top-line results by defining and implementing standard sales processes.”
This 14-word answer covers the gamut of services that we offer, but don’t want to discuss in the first few minutes of calls:
Help in defining steps for different types of sales an organization has
Consulting services to create sales ready messaging®
Workshops to provide sellers a common skill set to execute the process
Distance learning reinforcement
Teaching sales managers how to assess and develop their staff
Takeaway: Good positioning statements address the question and allow sellers to transition to focusing on the buyer’s organization and business issues.