By John Holland, Chief Content Officer, CustomerCentric Selling®
Many sellers have subordinate relationships with senior executives. There are inherent advantages buyers enjoy when interacting with salespeople:
1. They decide whether or not to let sellers talk or meet with them.
2. They can end meetings at any time for any reason.
3. Ultimately they decide whether to buy.
Given this landscape, when meeting executives for the first time many sellers feel and act like subordinates in trying to get buyers to like them.
With a belief that “the buyer is always right” sellers are thankful they are able to gain access and overtly willing to give their time and company resources away.
When a seller goes through a buying cycle as a subordinate, he or she will have trouble responding to requests for better pricing, terms, etc.
Establishing a Peer Relationship
In trying to level the playing field, competent sellers should understand they bring some things to the table that should be valuable to executives they call on:
- They have forgotten more about their offerings than the buyer will ever know.
- They can share industry knowledge because they call on many different companies. Executives are interested in learning about what their peers are doing.
- They can establish value if they focus on business outcomes that can be realized through the use of their offerings and less on product.
? My suggestion is to strive to earn a buyer’s respect by being different than the stereotypical salesperson.
Part of that is realizing your objectives are to help buyers understand the potential value of your offering and in the longer term mutually determine if it makes financial sense for the prospect to make a buying decision.
This can lead to more of a peer relationship and the ability when closing to neutralize requests for concessions by negotiating based upon value rather than price.