How to be more productive selling to busy execs today

Posted: May 10, 2010 in sales, social media, value propositions, vendors
Tags: , , , ,

Yes, prospective customers really do hate it when you chase them.

Off All Fours - 3:30 p.m. - Baker Beach, San Francisco. I... Lacy Atkins / The Chronicle

Tips for PR people who pitch stories to the media are equally useful for selling and marketing just about anything.  Especially when it comes to selling things B2B to stretched-thin, short-attention span executives and managers.  Here’s a check-list borrowed from another source and modified for marketers and sales reps:

1. Create relationships with your targets BEFORE you make a sales pitch.  Meeting in person is optimal, of course. But social platforms like Twitter or LinkedIn  give you the ability to get to know your prospect in a different context.

2. Know the company you’re targeting. What is it about what you’re selling that makes it a compelling value proposition? Hint: do not rely on your marketing material to tell you.  Do your own homework on the company you’re interested in.  What value would they see in your offering?

3. Know how you fit into their picture. Do they even have the problem that your product purports to solve?  What is it about your solution, or what you can persuade them about it, that makes it as close as possible to a gotta-have and not just another nice-to-have?

4.  Make sure there’s hook inside the bait you’re dangling.  A value proposition isn’t anything qualitative.  It’s a specific quantity that is measurable.  Customers calculate value as the dollar amount they assign to a specific benefit minus the adoption cost plus the actual price.  You have a compelling value proposition to the extent that the sum of the last two is less than the value of the benefit.  In other words, if the value your customer puts on the benefit your product delivers is greater than the adoption cost plus the price, you’ve got something they’ll be interested in.

5. Make the pitch about your target, not your product.  You’ll succeed here to the extent that you’ve done your homework.

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