Mark Shonka

Sales Tip: The Classic Mistake

We have been well trained. We know our products and solutions well, and we believe in them. We are enthusiastic subject matter experts who understand our competitors and our competitive advantage. Given this, it's easy to see why some of us make the classic mistake. In some situations, it's almost inevitable.

What is this mistake? Thinking that the heart of a conversation with a customer is about us and our solutions. It's not, or at least it shouldn't be.

Everyone we sell to has objectives they want to accomplish and issues they want to resolve. As an example, most people/companies don't have an objective to buy training; instead, they want the outcome that the training helps to create. For us to be at our best, the heart of the conversation has to be about the customer and what they are trying to accomplish from both a departmental and business perspective.

Are our solutions important? Of course they are. Solutions are the rocket fuel of our "fit" with the customer - the things that actually enable the outcomes that the customer is looking for.  However, our solutions aren't the only fuel. We have other things that bring value to our customer, such as our people, resources, expertise, industry and sector knowledge... Combining our knowledge of the customer and what they want to accomplish with our various sources of value is an optimal combination.

If we continue to do our homework and keep the customer's desired outcomes at the heart of our conversations and presentations, we will never make the classic mistake again.



Mark Shonka

Sales Tip: Two Key Questions

Most people in the sales and relationship management profession believe in doing their homework about their customers and prospects. People who sell products tend to ask questions focused on the customer’s needs, while people who sell their company’s value (and solutions) ask questions about...

Mark Shonka

Sales Tip: A Coordinated Effort

Many of us are now fully immersed in the practice of delivering virtual presentations. We have almost no choice. If we want to deliver an impactful presentation, this is the option we have right now. While many of the presentation skills that have served us well over the years continue to do so...