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Getting What We Want

by David Brock on January 26th, 2021

Sales people are singularly focused on making sales—getting the PO. In some sense, that’s great. We want sales people to be driven to win deals, to get new orders, to grow our revenue.

Sadly, though, this singular focus on orders actually doesn’t serve us well. We miss the key issue that drives our ability to get an order.

We focus on getting what we want–the PO. But we will never get what we want until our customers get what they need–a solution to the problem they are trying to address.

While this is so obvious, it should elicit bored “Dugghhh’s” from each of you, The behaviors of so many sales people fail to recognize this.

Think of the emails you get–or your people send. “If you can get me an order by the end of the quarter, we would consider a discount!” Or the variations focused on getting us the PO when we want/need it, while ignoring what the customer needs/wants to achieve.

The fastest, most effective way for us to get what we want, is to help the customer get what they want/need.

The only reason customers buy is to help them solve a problem, address an opportunity or to achieve goals. But they struggle in the problem solving process. They lose their way, they don’t know what they should be looking at, they don’t know what they might achieve, they worry about the risk-both personal and organizational. They worry about the change management issues, they worry about time to results.

All these things stand in the way of the customer getting what they want/need. Until we can help the customer understand these, we won’t get what we want. Until the customer becomes confident in their ability to be successful in the change management initiative, we can’t get what we want.

Yet, we continue to focus on we want, not helping the customer get what they want.

We also miss an opportunity. We don’t help the customer with what they are doing. We don’t get them to reimagine possibilities. For example, what if we can accelerate time to results? Or the counter to that, what are the consequences of delaying solving this problem? We focus on making the customer confident in our product, yet we don’t realize their biggest issue is their confidence in making things happen within their own organization.

What is we changed our approach, not eliminating our focus on what we want, but recognizing our success is only realized when we help our customer get what they want and they see the clear path to their success.

Sales isn’t that tough when we focus on the right things.

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