June 5, 2019

Push Back on Process & Procurement. Play to Win. Produce the Best Client Outcome.

I am sick and tired of seeing salespeople fall into the “Procurement Pit.” Too many sellers are too quick to acquiesce to the prospect’s process and it damages not only how they’re perceived, but it also hurts their chances of winning the deals they really want. Salespeople are getting commoditized, losing the opportunity to differentiate themselves and their offerings, and they’re also losing deals they should be winning.

Chapter 13 in my new book, Sales Truth: Debunk the Myths. Apply Powerful Principles. Win More New Sales. is dedicated to helping salespeople better own their own sales process. I make the strongest case possible why it is to your advantage to drive (or even dictate) process as opposed to acquiescing to your prospect’s every wish. This chapter will make many sellers uncomfortable. Many will doubt or fear the approach espoused in the brief excerpts below.

Let these excerpts challenge you:

“Blindly going along with a buyer’s direction simply for the sake of scoring “obedience points” is not going to help you bring in more business.”

“Too many salespeople wimp out on their own sales process and continue defaulting to the buyer’s process even when it makes no sense. This deprives them of the opportunity to execute proper discovery work, enhance relationships with the right customer stakeholders, and prevents them from being able to tailor their approach, presentation, and proposed solution.”

I have two missions as a professional salesperson. First, I am driven to create the absolute best possible and highest-value outcome for the client. Second, I am committed to winning every deal for which I compete – assuming, of course, that I’m convinced that is in the best interest of the client. Those two missions are what drive me and drive my sales process. I am beholden to getting the client what they need to win and doing what I need to do so I can win… I don’t work for procurement people. I work for my client contact (business person), for my company, and for myself. It’s incumbent on me do whatever is ethical and necessary to ensure the client gets the best solution and to give myself the best chance of winning. Translation: when I perceive that the customer’s stated buying process or instructions to me are counter to either creating the best solution or improving my likelihood of winning, that’s when it is time to stand my ground and push back.”

Can I ask you to please go back and re-read that previous paragraph, one more time, slowly. Do you agree with my two missions? Isn’t that what we all want – to give ourselves the best chance of winning and to give the client the best solution/most value? If that’s the case, then we need to let that mindset drive our approach and behavior.

Based on my experience working with salespeople at various levels of experience across a wide array of industries, I’m confident that many reading my exhortation are shaking their collective heads and saying to themselves, “I can’t do that. Plus, it won’t work. I’ll never get away with pushing back on the prospect or trying to dictate process.”

Friends, I understand that reaction and it’s why in this chapter I provide proof and concrete examples from three very different small companies that are having tremendous success by better owning their process and telling procurement people to “pound sand.” Not only are they having a ton more fun and wining bigger, better, higher-margin deals, their confidence as sellers has gone through the roof!

I can’t wait for you to read this book! It truly delivers what its subtitle promises: It debunks many common myths about sales today, including the biggest lie of all (that everything in sales has changed and nothing that used to work still does). It will help you apply powerful principles to not only create more sales opportunities, but also to increase your effectiveness at advancing and closing those deals. And you will definitely be better equipped and more energized to go out and win more New Sales.