Sales Tips: Avoid No Decisions by Answering "What's in it for me?"
By John Holland, Chief Content Officer, CustomerCentric Selling® - The Sales Training Company
No decision is a terrible outcome for both buyers and sellers. It ultimately means both parties spent time, effort and money and at the end, the buyer decided not to buy from any of the vendors that bid. Sellers either get firm no’s or the vague commitment to revisit the offering at a later time.
I believe the primary reason for these outcomes is that buyers don’t see adequate value to justify the expenditure.
Let’s assume you are selling to a manufacturing company and calling on the person responsible for stocking spare parts to maintain their equipment. He is under pressure because he is not meeting his MBO for having the needed parts at the right engineering level when problems arise. If this is the only person a seller calls on, the potential benefit will be reducing the percentages of times spare parts are out of stock. If a proposal is issued there won’t be an overwhelming business case because the problem hasn’t been propagated to other Key Players.
Some other titles that sellers should try to gain access to in this example:
- The maintenance manager because MTTR numbers will be negatively impacted and expedited shipping charges may be incurred.
- The production manager because outages mean production targets may be missed.
- The VP Manufacturing because overtime may be necessary to get caught up after extended outages due to spare parts being out of stock.
- Someone in finance because outsourcing of spare parts can enable not incurring carrying costs, write offs of obsolete parts and treating spare parts as an operating expense vs. having to have them on the books.
- Key Players in sales or marketing as customer shipments may be negatively impacted if shipment times must be delayed due to outages. There may also be the potential of losing customers because commitments are being missed.
If sellers can create Spheres of Influence as described above, the potential value established can be a compelling reason for decisions to be made and can be a strong differentiator.
In making purchase decisions Key Players want/need to know:
What’s in it for me?
Failing to facilitate enterprise views of value can mean:
- losses to no decision
- losses to competitors
- potentially lower margins if sellers can’t negotiate based upon value rather than cost
Transactions are much more likely to close when all Key Players are aware of the potential benefits of a vendor’s offering.