Ok, it’s a bad start to a joke, but Ford’s hiring of a Boeing executive as CEO is representative of one of the biggest problems facing sales professionals today. There was a time when senior management was comprised of people who had grown up in that business and had a deep understanding and love of it. Those people were wowed by your latest widget or version and instantly saw the value you brought to their company.
Today, more and more companies are run by people with experience gained in other businesses. The lack the depth of knowledge to instantly see your value and they are hardly wowed by your latest stuff. They know business and only focus on the bottom line.
What does this mean to us?
It means you must be able to make a bottom-line case for your offerings. You must be able to paint these people a picture of the value you bring that makes it clear they will see the ROI they want in the time-frame they need.
Go back to school.
If you only learned about the features and benefits of your product or service, you are ill-prepared to sell in this market. It’s time to go back and study your offering from a strictly value-based perspective. Even if you already use value-selling, it’s time to sharpen your tools.
Here’s your homework…
Go through every aspect of your offering and ask yourself this simple question, “Exactly how will it affect the client’s bottom line?” When I say ‘exactly’, I mean in dollars and cents. You must be able to explain how much money the client will make buy buying from you.
Unfortunately, white papers developed by your marketing department are often discounted by the prospect. It’s your analysis of the ROI based on the client’s actual number that
they want to hear.
Alan Mulally, the new CEO of Ford, may not know cars, but he knows how to read a P & L. If you want to sell this breed of CEO, you need to know how your offering will make his bottom line shine!
Steve Waterhouse is Principal and Founder of Predictive Results (www.predictiveresults.com), a sales consulting and training company that helps companies dramatically increase their sales. He can be reached at 904-269-2299 or www.predictiveresults.com.