By John Holland, Chief Content Officer, CustomerCentric Selling®
Prior to an important meeting or discussion, many people prepare by identifying their objectives. For salespeople making calls on a regular basis this is an important step that is likely to be skipped as they become comfortable and experienced.
A core concept of CustomerCentric Selling® is: No goal means no prospect. In other words, if sellers can’t get potential buyers to share desired business outcomes (or problems) they’re willing to spend money to achieve (or address), there’s no selling to be done. This core concept was written well before B2B buyers were leveraging the Internet and social networking to better understand what offerings are available prior to contacting salespeople.
I suggest a logical objective for an initial conversation is to have a buyer share one or more business outcomes or goals they want to achieve through the use of a seller’s offering. Knowing the type of company and the title of the buyer should allow a seller to develop a menu of potential goals.
As with many things in life, a seller may want to step back and realize they have work to do before Key Players will be willing to share business goals. Steven Covey said there are two components of being deemed trustworthy in that someone must display sincerity and competence. Most executives will share their business goals or problems with salespeople that they believe are trustworthy.
Buying cycles don’t start until buyers share a goal or a problem they’re willing to spend money to achieve or address. It is a watershed event when goals are shared and once it occurs the buyer starts to realize there is potential value if a seller’s offering can address their needs. Whether or not your buyers share their goals with you depends upon how they feel about you. Would they consider you trustworthy?