First, recognize the most valuable thing you bring to the table is your unique position. For example, if you sell to 100 chief executive officers (CEOs) every year, you sit in the center of the CEO ecosystem.
Through speaking with so many CEOs, you’ve likely developed a unique perspective and understanding of the challenges they face and how the very best CEOs are solving their problems today.
Where Sales Is Headed: Insight Selling
Insight selling begins with two ideas. First, that buyers don’t just want sales reps to ask them big, open-ended questions. And second, that content marketing has officially overwhelmed modern buyers.
If you believe these two points, or have experienced that reality yourself, here’s what you should understand. Today’s buyer needs you to add value beyond the research they can conduct on their own.
You might be thinking, “Obviously, I know that. We do that already.” But, ask yourself, “How?” The sales world talks about adding value, but no one explains exactly how to do it.
That’s the unique value you bring to the table for all your buyers. What you learn through speaking to so many CEOs is the very thing none of those CEOs has done.
You have proprietary information that’s highly valuable to your buyers. And, you can explain not just what other CEOs are doing to solve their problems, but where they’re falling short and how they’re moving forward.
That’s the “insight” in insight selling. But, just realizing you have this insight isn’t enough. You must be able to communicate these insights clearly, through stories to their buyers.
And the story is the LIFT Model. That’s right, the pitch deck is that story. There’s a setting, a struggle, a turning point, and a resolve. When you tell a story you become a HOPE DEALER, who gives potential buyers the hope that they can have the capabilities that others like them have been able to enjoy.
The Lift is a series of slides in a Pitch Deck that flows like this:
• Slide 1: “The current state of the world is [Mega-trend 1, 2, 3, etc. …]”
• Slide 2: “[Mega-trend] makes life challenging for business leaders like you because … [Implication 1, 2, 3]”
• Slide 3: “… and this is only going to get harder in the future, because …”
• Slide 4: “Today, the way most companies try to solve [Challenge/mega-trend] is… [‘Hire more people,’ ‘Spend more money, etc. …’].”
• Slide 5: “… and here are the results most companies get [Mediocre results].”
• Slide 6: “… but, there’s a small group of [Companies/business leaders] doing things differently …”
• Slide 7: “… and these are the results they’re getting [… should be far better than what the middle of the road company is getting in slide number five] …”
• Slide 8: “Here’s how it works … [this is where discuss your company’s solution/service/product].”
We live in the age of information and the empowered buyer. Everything your prospect wants to know about you, your company, and your products and services is available with just a few keystrokes. If you can’t bring information or insight to your buyer they can’t find on their own, they have no reason to speak with you.
Remember, the simple fact you sit at the center of hundreds of conversations with your buyers’ peers gives you unparalleled information and insight.
That’s your unique value. The only question is whether you’re listening to what buyers are saying and what you’re going to do with that information.
For more deep insights, check out my book Stay Longer Listen Deeper.