Obstacles are necessary for success because in selling, as in all careers of importance, victory comes only after many struggles and countless defeats.
The movie “All the President’s Men” about the Watergate affair includes a famous scene, in which reporter Bob Woodward meets with his source, code named Deep Throat, in a dark parking garage.
And when I saw the legendary movie again, I took particular note of that scene, especially the following three lines:
Deep Throat: “Follow the money.”
Bob Woodward: “What do you mean? Where?”
Deep Throat: “Oh, I can’t tell you that.”
Value-based selling is exactly like the confused reporter fighting to figure out the story and find the truth of the Watergate affair: it’s about following the money, but where? Who should he ask? What should he ask? Who is telling the truth?
Your job as a value-based salesperson is quite parallel to Bob Woodward’s task as a reporter. By asking questions of the right people in the prospect’s organisation, you need to clarify and answer the following questions:
How does the investment in your concept generate a concrete return, specifically in the prospect’s financial accounts?
- Where is the company now, where do they want to go, and how can your service contribute to that?
- Who in the prospect’s organisation will benefit from buying your solution?
- How will the prospect’s processes, performance, routines or efficiency be impacted?
- Who has something to lose if your product turns out to be the wrong choice?
- Who directly or indirectly influences the prospect’s decision; what is critical to each of them?
That detective work is at least as complicated as Bob Woodward’s task as a reporter.
Follow the money!
By Brian Stahlhut Christiansen, CEO & Cofounder, Milestone Selling
Learn more about following the money in our free E-Book, The Sales Manager’s Milestones