Is your business case enough to justify the sale? We completed our second day of systems engineering sales training in Bangalore India yesterday. On the first day (read about it here) I taught on security trends, identifying the need, accessing the right people, and building justifications through assessments (or a change in the discovery process). Today we spent our time on presentation skills and building various components of a presentation. We crafted verbal responses to questions like, “What do you do?” and “What is your company doing in the area of security?”
The Business Case
Somewhere along the line we’ve been taught that the business case is enough to justify the sale – of course you need a business case. You don’t want to be selling technology to someone where no real need exists. That would violate the very definition of Trusted Adviser. But is it enough? It’s not…
Great Motivational Speakers Understand How to Sell
Think of all the great motivational speakers. The speakers that get their audiences eating healthy, starting a new diet to lose weight, or taking up running or some other regular exercise program. Is their recommendation needed? Of course it is – but most of their listeners where already aware that a good diet or exercise was recommended. Everyone knows that eating yummy desserts every day, living on fast food, and sitting around all day are just not healthy…was it the facts and figures that motivated that attendee to action? Of course it wasn’t. It was the stories, the emotion, the energy generated by the speaker’s passion that pushed that lethargic individual into action. It may not last unless a real heart change has occurred, but while the emotion is high – new resolutions are made. That explains why it is helpful to continually fill your mind with the right stories, movies, books, and social encounters. A constant source tends to keep that emotion going – driving the will to make better decisions.
Good marketing and selling does the same thing. It identifies real needs among real people, discovers viable alternatives, and sets a path before the buyer. But then it encourages the right actions through an emotional response. By the way, deceptive marketing does just the opposite. It identifies something that a company or person wants their audience to do that just isn’t wise – like taking up smoking; and then encourages an emotional response by making that person think they’ll be happier, sexier, more desirable, more popular, or more independent.
If you’re selling – make sure your product fits the first category – a wise direction for people with a certain need. Find those people, and start working on your story. At this point I’d point you back to Simon Sinek’s excellent video on Starting with WHY.
© 2013, David Stelzl