By Wolfram van Wezel, Published October 29, 2014
The Early Bird Gets The Lead
In my last post, The Secret of Lead Generation for the Complex Sale — Part 1, I told a tale about two different sales approaches. One salesperson works like a sprinter, looking for a fast sales cycle and a quick close. The other takes the approach of a marathoner, running slower and longer, pacing himself just right to reach his destination.
The story illustrated that if you treat a sale with the patience of a marathoner, working with executives before they know how they want to address a problem, you can gain an advantage over competitors who take a shorter-term approach.
In fact, the earlier you approach executives in need of help, the better your chances to ask questions, listen, learn prospect needs and orient them to potential solutions.
I know this because some of our early executive contacts have turned into our largest deals.
Beyond the competitive advantage of being the first to know about the business opportunity and having a chance to influence the buyer’s direction, you will get to know their motivations and fears. In the process, you build a relationship that’s hard for a competitor to overcome.
Strategy Meetings: A Door Opener
Once you’ve reached out to and impressed an executive, offer to help them by putting together a strategy meeting. We receive many requests for such meetings which proves that executive buyers are actively searching for help in realizing their visions. It’s an essential step they need to take before they know what they want to purchase. You’ll discover strategy meetings open the doors to other people involved in influencing multi-buyer decisions.
Sell With Finesse
Before approaching executives with telephone calls, make sure you put this task in the right hands.
The tele-consultants you choose should work in an environment that encourages longer, more meaningful conversations. They should have good listening skills.
Also, your tele-consultants should know your products and how to describe high-level benefits. After all, executive buyers are only going to open up to consultants who can talk on their level and provide valuable advice.
Say Goodbye To This Prevalent Myth
Solutions have become more complex, and the impact of strategic product decisions on the growth or survival of companies in the next five years is larger than ever before. Business decision makers are under more pressure to make the right decisions at the right time, and they are actively searching for consultative support to guide them in the right direction.
It is time to say goodbye to the myth that buyers are 60–70% of the way through their buying decision before contacting a salesperson. Include the earlier decision-making phases in your sales and marketing approach and you’re sure to achieve some surprising successes with lead generation for complex sales.
Zig while others zag. Make the early move.