It is super frustrating when you just can’t get those initial sales over the line. There’s a lot of nodding but no signing on the dotted line. Everyone is excited about your product but no one seems to be parting with their money. The thing is, nobody buys products. Nobody sits around and says oh I really need a web analytics tool. Well they might do, but they are led by an underlying need such as, “how can I make it easier for my customer to buy our products online or how can I identify what information customers are really seeking online?” Selling products ticks boxes, selling solutions solves problems. This is one of the fundamental reasons why potential buyers do not reach a point where they are willing to hand over their money.
Whilst we all believe that listing out the features of a product and presenting our company and all of our awards is really going to get things over the line, organizations are motivated by specific agendas. Specific agendas are often owned by particular individual or small groups of stakeholders. Think about this for a moment, have you ever had a situation where you have presented your product to an individual at a business and they absolutely love it. Then when that conversation is expanded to the wider stakeholders they are completely dismissive and show no interest. People might sit in the same business but they have their own agendas that they are trying to fulfill at any given time and nobody is going to buy something that they don’t need. If they do, then look forward to a credit note appearing in the next three months because that is not going to stick.
The focus of most interactions should be on a company’s key drivers and not the actual product that you are selling. By drivers, we simply mean the specific things that influence decision making. What is or could be happening inside their business that will create a problem that you can solve? More importantly, how can we go about finding out what is bubbling underneath the surface in that business?
Here’s 4 key things you can implement tomorrow;
- Get a firm understanding of the problems you are trying to solve. Get to the crux of why you exist and why you created your product.
- Build a consultative question framework that can unravel the specific agendas that exist across businesses. Focus on the ones that align well with your solutions but don’t ignore the others – showing that you have a broad understanding will do you well in the long-run. These small objectives will typically tie up to a macro strategy that can be found online in annual reports or uncovered through articles online where the C-suite is featured. Identify where your prospective customer is today and take them on a journey to where they need to be and specifically how your product is the solution to get them there.
- Clearly illustrate quantitative return on investment (ROI) and intangible benefits as organizations are happy to spend money if they can see when it will come back to them.
- Don’t neglect to share your story – organizations want to know that you are a Startup with a plan, with big ambitions and a fantastic experienced team. Give them enough comfort in your business to balance against the potential risks of working with you.
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