By Tony J Hughes (A reprint from my LinkedIn Pulse page)
We're delegated down to those we sound like and we only have 20-40 seconds to create the right impression and hook an individual or audience when we engage. This is especially true in an age of social media, sound bites and executive ADD. The very best sales leaders focus on 'why' and 'when' because these define relevance and urgency. The 'what' and 'how' are mere detail yet most sales people lead with what their company does, how they do it and then dump facts that they think provide credibility... this is a HUGE mistake if you're seeking to engage at the right senior levels.
By focusing on 'why' and 'when' we overcome the worst of competitors ('do nothing' or client apathy) while assisting in the creation of a strong business case for purchase and implementation. Talk the language of leadership which is 'business outcomes' and 'managing risk'. Here is the most important question to ask yourself to plan for a meeting or in formulating value strategy: What is the business problem we solve for clients and why is it important? Then ask yourself: How do we create compelling business case value and manage their risk better than the competition, including their internal options? Finally, how can I lead with insight to earn the conversation and what questions set me apart in leading to the unique value I offer?
The way we sell is more important than what we sell. Become masterful at opening rather than closing. The way we open a sales call or business relationship, and our ability to set the right agenda, is critically important.
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Photo by: Paxson Woelber