Can You Change Your Customer? Can You Change Yourself?
Once we eliminate all the fancy words and hand waving, sales is about getting our customers to change.
We try to get them to switch suppliers/vendors.
We try to get them to change their current operations and procedures, improving the results they produce.
We try to get them to take advantage of opportunities they are missing, helping them grow and compete.
We try to get them to overcome the inertia of the everyday, getting them to do something different.
Whatever we sell, what we really are selling is change.
Sometimes the customer starts the ball rolling, coming to us, “We need to change, we need to do something different, can you help us?” In this case, they’ve initiated the change agenda, but we still have a lot of work, perhaps changing their minds about the solution approach, changing their attitudes/perceptions about us versus the alternatives. We have to get them to change, but it’s more about the solutions approach or their partner in implementing the change.
Increasingly, our job of selling change starts much earlier–initiating the whole process. Shaking them up, disrupting them, getting them to see how much not changing impacts them.
People fear change, particularly when it is imposed on them and they don’t understand why. If we are to be successful in overcoming that fear, we need to help them understand and own it for themselves. It has to be about them.
People resist change because there is always risk and unknowns. It’s less risky to do nothing. At least until the consequences of doing nothing exceed the risks of change.
We help our prospects and customers understand and embrace change.
How ironic, our jobs are about driving change, yet we change so little ourselves.
No that veneer of technology that we apply to make it look like we have changed doesn’t count.
Too many of us make selling not about change, but about our products and services, just like we’ve always done. We leave the part about “figuring out the change” up to the customers.
Too many still don’t understand what customers value and how to create and deliver value to customers. Yet until customer recognize and embrace the value, we can’t be successful.
Too many of us are still doing the same old things, the same old way—yet we want our customers to change.
If we can’t change, then how will we ever be successful in getting our customers to embrace change?
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