When involved in sales and marketing it is easy to succumb to the pressures of the situation. Some clients will be tougher to work with than others. Some deals will seem impossible at first glance. Some negotiations will take a long time to work through. It is too easy to take situations personally and give in to a problem.
Show me a top salesperson and I will show you a person that has stepped up to the challenge of many different deals and situations. The ‘easy way’ is rarely the ‘best way’ when it comes to professional selling. Look at a client challenge for what it is; an opportunity to go further and work under seemingly impossible odds.
So how can you handle this? Understand what your market is doing and prepare for it. At your next sales meeting ask around the team to see what the biggest challenges are at the moment. Make a list of current difficulties. Here is one that I got from a recent team in a coaching situation:
- Clients are slow to make a decision
- The price is slowing the decision down
- The ultimate decision maker is not involved in the pitch until the very last stage
- The client will not give you the whole story and list their requirements
- Comparable prices are ‘killing’ the deal
- The client is not totally honest.
- There are not enough clients in the market
- The competitors are ‘jumping’ all over my clients with special deals
- Head office has stepped into the deal and now I am working with others to get a decision
Given your client base and business market you can probably add to the ‘challenges’ list. When you look at each issue singularly it is easy to see that there are ways to get through the challenge. Push further into the requirements and the current information. Go that little bit further to understand; become a ‘solution provider’ and not a ‘solution pusher’.
Every client will be motivated by something. Perhaps their motivation is a combination of a number of things. Take the time to get closer to your clients before you push the negotiation and sale button. A good question and answer process together with excellent product knowledge will get you much closer to a deal than anything else.