Today I had a software demo with a major client in Miami Dade. As I reflect on how things went I think I could have performed much better. My 2 biggest struggles during the presentation were:
- Not communicating effectively – I sometimes sound confusing when delivering an answer on items I either can’t speak to or about. For example, someone asked me how much the software cost for one unit? This should be a straight answer but if you are selling a number of units on a massive scale the cost can vary considerably. I can try to verbalize that (and I did) but it comes across as dodging the question. Instead of moving past my answer, I try to answer his or her question in a different way or from a different angle. This creates more confusion and anxiety for my potential client and I.
- Not trying to establish a good relationship – I am currently reading the book (actually listening to it) SPIN Selling by Neil Rackham. Mr. Rackham does a good job breaking out the sales cycle and touches upon how to increase the perceived value of your offering in big sales. He goes on to state that as a product’s price increases the buyer’s emotion on making a decision increases as well. For example, if you need an overhead projector that cost $100, the emotional decision to buy this item is almost irrelevant. The overhead projector fits the bill, is a low cost item and no one will judge you for it. However, if you are buying computers for the whole company the decision to make this purchase is more complex. If the buyer in this example makes the wrong choice with respect to the computer purchase he or she will be exposed, judged or even fired. Therefore, there is a lot more to think about (or feel about it) when there are consequences at stake. This is why a good sales person will try to build a relationship early on to make this person feel comfortable when making a big purchase like the example above.
Today’s post is a short one but I think this is an important topic to think about. At the very least, being aware of these issues in a selling scenario is a good starting point and can help you sell more in your environment. At the end of the day, I really like the idea of building a relationship with a buyer or client regardless of the price tag. Coming across as a sales person just trying to close the deal in my opinion is counter productive. I need to work on establishing these good relationships early on and I will work on that moving forward. 🙂