Since this crisis began, we’ve spoken to hundreds of salespeople and we’ve been asked the same question again and again:
“Everything’s changed. I can’t sell what I normally sell. What should I be selling instead?”
In this post I want to explain why this is the wrong question to be asking right now and share an alternative, more impactful approach.
“What should I be selling?” is the wrong question because of a sales challenge that’s been around for a long time- a challenge that the current situation is accentuating. The challenge is that clients have never been particularly interested in what we sell. Not least because, for them, everything sounds the same. In fact, according to the CEB, 86% of buyers don’t see a big enough difference between your tech and what your closest competitor is selling to pay a premium or to advocate for it.
What they have always cared about is finding solutions to the problems that they’re facing. Arguably, that is way more important today than it’s ever been before so we shouldn’t start by asking “What should I be selling?” Instead, we should follow this three-step process:
State your purpose as a brand, account manager or salesperson. Your purpose right now could be all about helping them get through this current situation and come out the other side in as strong a position as possible.
Understand where they want to get to. Have an open conversation and double down on understanding exactly what they need to achieve. Push their horizon back and concentrate on where they want to be as they come out of this current situation
Co-create a recommendation. Look at your product suite and decide what you’ve got which is going to be most effective at getting the customer to where they need to get to. If you don’t have the right products, now is the time to move with pace, be innovative and add those products that are going to work for the customer.
“What should I be selling right now?” is an understandable question for salespeople to be asking now but it’s not where we should start.