For many of us, building relationships is one of the most rewarding aspects of our lives, and an ongoing learning process. When we’re young and think we have all the answers, our personal relationships provide plenty of stumbling blocks, often due to our own inability to compromise and put someone else’s priorities above our own. One of the keys to a successful marriage is the maturity to manage those compromises; once you personally connect with someone at that level, you learn the things that are truly important to them and make those things a priority, whether they always align perfectly with your own needs or not.Yes, that’s me. And yes, we’re still married.
Professional relationships, in many ways, are very similar. As young professionals and salespeople, we often stumbled, thinking we had all the answers and placing our own needs—whether that meant meeting quotas or pushing certain products harder than others—above the needs of the potential customers we were trying to serve. In order to successfully meet the needs of your customers and become a memorable sales professional, you have to master the art of learning the unique business concerns and goals of each client and providing them with solutions that truly solve their problems.
Know Your Customer
You simply can’t go into any business with a one-size-fits-all mentality to sales. Every business, every business owner, every decision maker and every workforce has unique considerations, from IT infrastructure and technical expertise to company culture and creativity. As a modern salesperson, you have to prioritize the needs of the company above your own; it’s not just about meeting quotas anymore, it’s about solving a company’s unique problems in efficient and cost-effective ways.
Take PGi, for example. We provide a wide range of collaboration solutions, from the audio conferencing innovations of GlobalMeet® Audio to the personal, innovative web and video conferencing of iMeet®. In the past, we might have simply presented those options to a potential client, run through a sales pitch and hoped for the best. However, to truly stand out from the crowd, you have to go the extra mile and learn as much about your prospect and their business as you can. In the case of PGi, we try and learn as much as we can about their IT concerns, their network configuration, their meeting habits, their mobility needs, how they buy products and more, all in an effort to provide the right solutions to the right people in the right companies. Consider who you are meeting with and what is important to them. The head of procurement is concerned with costs. The head of sales is concerned with productivity. The head of IT is concerned with support, integration and risk.
Tailoring Your Approach
Once we’ve identified our prospect’s needs and goals, it’s up to us to provide the right solution to the right people. For example, a company that regularly has large-scale meetings and trainings with a mix of mobile and in-house team members would be presented with GlobalMeet web conferencing; its mobile apps allow even remote workers to view or present files to large groups. On the other hand, a smaller, more creative business with limited IT resources and technical expertise would benefit more from iMeet, which offers a more personal meeting experience that’s perfect for brainstorming with practically no technical acumen required.
While these are simplistic examples and the true nature of your clients is often considerably more complex, the soul of the exercise is the same: stop viewing your prospects as stats towards a quota and start viewing them as real people with problems that you can help solve. Business relationships should be treated like a marriage, with concern and care and consideration to what is really important. The end result will be far more rewarding.
To learn more about the latest methods to empower your modern sales team, visit the PGi Resource Library today.