What do Thor the superhero and successful selling have in common?
In a successful sales process, three types of currency are in play:
While all three types matter, the most critical currency is “political.” And taking your prospective buyer from fearful to hero is the key to sales success.
In the sales process, certainly your price needs to align with the value you provide. If it does not, your sales team will struggle. Remember, unless your product is highly commoditized, the price in and of itself means little until it is aligned against the value you deliver.
Credibility is also key. Today’s buyers have vast information available at their fingertips and expect sales teams to be experts in their fields. Therefore, sales teams must do their homework to establish their credibility.
Yet the most important currency in the sales process is political. When selling or marketing to a prospective buyer, we tend to assume they will use logic to robustly and quantitatively compare the features and benefits of each product choice—and then unemotionally choose what is best for their firm.
However, often this is not the case.
To create the best kind of political currency, you have to take the prospective buyer through an emotional journey from fearful to hero.
Many buyers evaluate a potential product or service based on how it may negatively impact their career/promotion/bonus if something goes wrong.
How do you help buyers overcome this fear?
Now we come to Thor. Why Thor? Once past fear, you need to show how purchasing your product will make your buyer look like a hero in the organization and benefit their career. As the Harvard Business Review put it:
“Ultimately, the decision to publicly advocate for change is driven much more by the personal value provided to the mobilizer (prospective buyer) than by the business value provided to that individual’s organization. In studying what inspires mobilizers, we found that factors such as whether a solution could advance a person’s career or help him be seen as a better leader were five times as potent as the offering’s “business value”—things like superior product features, likely impact on business outcomes, or return on investment.”
– Making the Consensus Sale, Harvard Business Review, 2015.
How do you persuade your prospective buyer they’ll look like a hero?
To keep your sales team focused on this process, ask them regularly:
by Jeff Bilyea