Why partners must change the end-user conversation when selling
- 15 November, 2016 10:45
Operating within the technology market in Australia is becoming tougher by the day, with shrinking margins and smaller sized deals testing the limits of the channel.
But to instigate a revival, and force a turnaround in fortunes, partners must change the customer conversation to accelerate profitable growth.
“The idea of modernising the way that we sell to improve our reach into the marketplace and improve the efficiency of selling is very important,” RSVP Selling managing director and consultant, Tony Hughes, said.
“We need to change the way that we go to market. It’s not all about business development.
“We need to focus on creating value – how can we create interest with the people that could potentially do business with us?”
Speaking at a recent CompTIA channel gathering in Sydney, Hughes said the first piece of the puzzle starts with “the golden circle – why, how, what”.
“Everyone knows what they do,” he said. “Some, know how they do it, which is the differencing value proposition.”
Yet for Hughes, “very few people” within organisations understand “why they do what they do”.
“And by why, I don’t mean to make a profit,” he explained. “By why I mean what’s your purpose? What’s your cause? What’s your belief? Why does your organisation exist? And why should anyone care?
“This explains why some organisations are able to inspire while others aren’t.
“The way we think, the way we act, the way we communicate is from the outside in. But the inspired organisations, regardless of their size, regardless of their industry, all think, act, and communicate from the inside out.”
For Hughes, the second piece of the puzzle, and in developing a business, involves a partner leading with the “why” question when addressing the end-user.
“We should lead with why the conversation matters to the other person,” he said.
“That’s really how the conversation should start and people struggle to do that and do that well. We need to infect other people with that passionate belief about what we do.
“If we’re genuine in providing great outcomes for our clients, we need to anchor why that is important to them.”
From a channel perspective, Hughes said businesses must lead with insight, provide value for people - stop pitching a value proposition - and start to understand how the customer defines value.
“We need to hook people with interest,” he said. “Telling isn’t selling. We need to find out what do they need to achieve, where do they see risks, what can we provide to them that’s of value to them before they become a customer? That is what makes a massive difference.”
Looking ahead, Hughes said businesses must modernise selling techniques in a bid to “dramatically improve” efficiency and reach across the market.
“The best sellers think about what their buyers look for online before they look for them,” he added.
“Don’t be afraid to use technology to increase your reach. We have to move on from being uninspiring.”