In a recent post published by makingthenumbers.com, author Jack Falvey suggests getting the business first, then dealing with the details.
“How did I lose the order? Let me count the ways,” Falvey writes. “If the devil is indeed in the details, why get the devil into the act? Wait until after you have solidly converted your target lost soul. Get the order first.”
The post goes on to explain that getting an agreement to work together is the base level of selling, and that the key elements you want to cement in place before figuring-out how to best deliver are, “I trust you. I trust your company. I trust your product or service. It can do good things for us.”
This perspective aligns nicely with two important fundamentals.
First, timing matters and we must avoid a “ready, fire, aim” approach to selling. Instead, we must follow a sales process that enables us to connect with buyers, uncover needs and relevant information, and present solutions in a logical progression. If the order of things is right, closing is natural; if not, the deal stalls or, even worse, the deal is lost.
Second is a simple rule-of-thumb for sales professionals to follow:
Sell yourself… sell the company… then sell products/services
Sell yourself refers to connecting with customers and prospects to establish the necessary levels of trust and mutual respect.
Sell the company refers to establishing your organization’s credibility and capabilities.
One these two requirements have been met it becomes much easier to assess needs and priorities and, ultimately, to sell products and/or services.
“There are hundreds of deal-stoppers available to us if we want to get into them,” Falvey says. “No need to hide anything; just take things in their proper order. Get the business first. Get the details taken care of in their own good time.”