Sales professionals love commissions! Moreso, they love long-term deals that continue to deliver commissions. If business-to-business sales reflected the movie business, sales professionals would only want to produce sequels. Consequently, success requires storytelling talent that have prospects anticipating the next purchase while enjoying the current buy. Progressive selling is the secret to delivering more volume through more intricate transactions. While more complex sales demand more time, more value can be extracted from stickier deals. So, how does a successful sales professional manage prospecting, servicing, and delivering to an increasingly more discerning marketplace to sustain greater income? The dollars are in the details!
Whether prospects plan to purchase technology, training, or financial services, the expectation of singular transactions are dead. Success depends on the ability to establish long-term relationships resulting in services continuing to meet customers’ explicit and ongoing needs. Successful vendors build up expectations and then deliver with increased capacity. Considering that larger opportunities typically mean increased customization, extensive preparation is essential.
Recognizing that effective selling is the result of effective storytelling, then the elements for the story must be prepared at all times. Progressive selling extends beyond, prepared collateral and scripts. Winning in this environment demands securing and exchanging market intelligence. Thoroughly understanding and intelligently discussing competitors’ strengths and weaknesses builds credibility. Discerning prospects true pain points so that they can be healed by the vendor’s solution drives high volume sales activity. Ultimately, mastering processes that emphasize and demonstrate an individual vendor’s advantage is essential to growth. Demonstrating persistence, then delivering through proven processes pay dividends!
Also, contributing to a winning story’s successful execution is what happens after the hero prevails. What is the customer’s “happily ever after”? Throughout the investigation, demonstration and objection overcoming, progressive vendors seamlessly include prospects in each step of the transaction’s process. Beyond delivering a product or service, establishing a relationship that confidently removes ongoing problems creates an environment where the most value emerges.
Knowledge of the macro business landscape also provides an enormous advantage. Part of the vendor’s story is to be a reliable source of goods, services, intelligence, and personal enrichment of the individual buyer’s reputation. The story’s credibility grows every time the sales professional or her organization contributes to the customers’ organizational success, as well as the personal success of the individual buyer. Like any good movie a satisfying resolution, even ones with open-ended issues requiring additional storytelling, creates anticipation for the next opportunity. In progressive selling, the resolution is not the end. It is actually an offramp for the next adventure!
When evaluating potentially successful opportunities, demonstrating tenacity and process are essential. Integrating too many parts to create a singular business transaction is inefficient. However, both parties can minimize costs when achieving consistency through sufficient collaboration. Essentially, build intelligent processes, then trust them. Furthermore, applying progressive storytelling frameworks provide paths to future opportunities. Enjoying the characters, resolving conflicts to engage in future adventures, and believing in products that create better experiences, are all elements of good stories. Likewise, they are good elements that result in additional, cost-effective buying opportunities. Relationships, trust, quality, and service reflect complex elements that reveal why progressive relationships are difficult, yet worthwhile. Ultimately, sharing successful adventures that benefit organizations and individuals create the blockbuster deals that result in business superstardom!
By Glenn W Hunter
Managing Director of Hunter And Beyond, LLC