Our world, along with the entire cosmos in which we reside, is governed by what we understand as the laws of physics. And whatever affect these forces may have upon the course of our day-to-day endeavors, they are as unchangeable, and indeed as unstoppable, as time itself. All else is not only dependent upon, but is made constant and inevitable based on these realities.
And just as there are laws governing this vast enterprise called the universe, there are also laws of selling. The straightforward and bold-faced revelation in the heading of this article will stand as a commandment in its own right. And for anyone needing a quick glance at a Webster’s or thesaurus, the term ‘immutable’ means unchallengeable, undeniable, and certainly absolute. Need I say more.
The pentagon is used to illustrate the specific ‘rules of engagement’ that substantiate the laws of selling. It is constructed of points and planes of dimensional perspective. So too are these five decrees dependent on a seller’s adherence to their visual dynamic when it comes down to the ultimate objective – the sale. You will also note that it moves with the inherent precision of clockwork. Simply stated, if a seller starts on the top, and follows the ‘flow’ of these truths, he or she will end up at the top, which, I believe, is the point.
I. Impetus for Change:
It doesn’t matter how great your product or service is, and the presentation is just a means to serve the end. What really matters, is that it will provide your prospect with a substantial and tangible result of either realizing a gain, or avoiding a loss – the impetus for change. The seller’s true purpose is to act as the catalyst, the enabler, the mechanism for the benefit of change to take place.
II. Substantial Benefit:
To actually qualify as a substantial benefit, it is the prospect who must acknowledge they have a problem. Then, they must determine that it does in fact need solving, and ascribe levels of priority and urgency above and beyond all other problems.
III. Outcome Confidence:
The prospect must have the highest degree of confidence that the predicted success can and will be realized. The seller’s task is to assist in the visualization and actualization of the entire process, from inception to fruition.
IV. Evidential Persuasion:
The prospect must be capable of persuading other decision-influencers with rock-solid evidence in the accuracy and soundness of their decision. They must be armed with the strategic information and tools needed to communicate the impetus for change, the substantial benefit, and the unassailable reasoning behind their outcome confidence.
V. Process Visualization:
The prospect must have a clear visualization of the process once they make a decision to buy. They must be comfortable with the details of exactly how and when the change will take place, and what transformative benefits they can truly expect. Uncertainty not only kills the deal, but will also slay a seller’s credibility in the process.
All too often, we as sellers try to fight against, or ignore these laws of selling. Plowing ahead by asking qualifying B.A.N.T questions is one good example. If you think about it, asking about budget (the B in BANT) doesn’t help the buyer, it just begins to erode confidence. Asking about whether he has authority (the A in BANT) doesn’t help the buyer either, affecting confidence again. BANT questions do help sellers qualify the buyer, but they don’t help the buyer understand their need or desire for a product or service. A seller must keep the buyer’s objective focused on the only track that matters – whether the need is compelling, whether the solution outcome is credible, how to persuade internal influencers, or what will happen if a buy decision is made.
No seller can successfully operate outside the laws of selling, nor are they immune to the detrimental affects if the laws are ignored. It is time to acknowledge these underlying forces that determine whether a prospect becomes a buyer, and whether or not a seller truly represents not only an impetus, but an instrument for change.
Author, Nancy Nardin is the foremost expert in sales productivity tools. As President of Smart Selling Tools, she consults with many of the top sales productivity software vendors as well as end-user organizations looking to select the right tools. Click to get Nancy’s What & When weekly digest with invitations to complimentary webinars and informative publications. Follow Nancy on Twitter @sellingtools or subscribe to her Tool Talk blog. Nancy can be reached at 916-596-3035. To schedule a free 30 minute consultation click here.
1 ( Budget Authority Need Timing )