Have you ever been talking with a prospect and suddenly felt an overwhelming sense of deja vu?
You’ve never met this person before in your life, and yet you know what they’re about to say. They’re going to tell you that they’re worried about the Internet. Their business is in the middle of radical change. Margins are eroding. It’s all about their people.
You’ve heard it all before. Which seems like a good thing, because you’ve helped other customers solve exactly the same problems. Why, just last year you had a customer – about the same size, in a similar industry – and here’s what you did for them…
That can be a deadly conversation, for three reasons:
- All buyers believe they’re unique. They don’t want a second-hand solution; they want a brand-new one, designed just for them.
- A same-ol same-ol solution won’t give you a competitive edge. Other suppliers have heard it all too. They’re likely to propose something similar to what you’re thinking.
- Most important, you’re going to miss the thing about this buyer that really is different.
Because buyers are right – every one is unique. Their problem may be 99% similar to the one you helped solve last year for another customer. But it’s that 1% difference that’s going to allow you to stand out. And if you succumb to déjà vu, you’re going to miss it.
You have to approach every sales situation with fresh eyes – as if it’s the first time in your life you’ve heard this particular tale. One way is by training yourself to ask Stupid Questions – questions you think you already know the answers to. Once in a while, the answer to a Stupid Question will surprise you. And when that happens, you’ll be able to deliver something new and different to your buyer. Something that communicates to your buyer: I get you. I really do understand why your unique challenges. And I know how to help.
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