Don’t Sell Yourself (or your Clients) Short

As sales professionals it is important that we focus on HOW we can improve in the moment and have the agility and focus to help our clients meet their goals.

It is also important that we don’t sell ourselves short in our professional careers and throughout the sales cycle?

What do I mean by this?

Many sales professionals (including myself) struggle with confidence – we create the illusion of confidence because at the end of the day we know how to do our jobs and have skill set needed to be successful. Unfortunately we often sell ourselves short by focusing on short term goals/outcomes and not focusing on the process to get to our true objectives.

How often have we failed to dive deeper in discovery because we hear one quick paint point and see the path towards a quick sale that won’t require negotiation. We go for a quick win.

  • The problem in this scenario is that we fail ourselves and more importantly our clients when we preemptively react. You sell everyone short when you don’t dive deeper to ensure you truly understand the pain and the why behind the customer need.
    • When we focus on a quick discovery because we don’t want clients to be uncomfortable when questions/we are afraid to ask crucial questions – we aren’t able to fully diagnose the customer need. Two things happen here:
      • You get a quick sale, but the customer need isn’t full met and you lose out on the potential for a bigger ACV. You don’t want to oversell a client – I cannot stand it when managers focus ‘overselling’ when a need isn’t there just for the sake of quota retirement. However, failing to dig deep and recognize that in addition to the one small pain point you solve there is a more holistic approach you can help with. Digging deep helps you and customer to be be successful. Failing to dive in and allowing fear to guide you in discovery and beyond leaves you both in the cold
      • You lost the deal after a 75% forecast(the final close potential) because you missed a critical puzzle piece early in the discovery. Ex: you didn’t ask about budget and you find out there is no budget for this project until next year. 99% of failures in closing come from missing pieces in your IQM/Discovery.

Don’t sell yourself short when it comes to value:

  • You are a product expert – don’t be afraid to share your knowledge and expertise as a consultant. Establish yourself as a consultant. This takes time as you really seek to understand your solution and the greater marketplace, but you can speak with authority and expertise.
  • When you know your products value and impact – you don’t have to shy away from difficult conversation. Objections are not ‘game overs’ – they are an invitation to tackle customer concerns and provide your knowledge and expertise on how we can solve that objection.
    • Too often we hear things like ‘this is too expensive…’ and we just assume it is a dead end. Don’t sell yourself and your client short by caving into objections. Really understand the why and compelling event behind the objection so you can provide guidance.
      • Ex: ‘Why do you feel that way?’ ‘Throughout this process we’ve discussed the value of our solution to your business and how it can impact your business objectives including reduced churn and driving net new business. You said the cost of doing nothing is exponential….’
        • Use their own words to provide clarity to the objection. You are not going to win if it is a price war – you might close the deal with a discount, but you need to ensure the client gets the value. If price is the real objection (it usually is not) – then you can adjust – but don’t be afraid to dig into the objection with follow-up questions/objection handling
  • You bring value as a business consultant – the client has a need and you need to bring your professional value to the table on every call. Your product has business value for their objectives and simply writing off a customer interaction because you are afraid to dig deep or tackle difficult objections is leaving value off the table you can both benefit from.

Career Value

  • I blogged about knowing your value in an earlier post. There is a confidence gap with sales professionals that is a bit of a paradox. Externally we can appear poised and confident, but internally we are filled with anxiety or frustration – second guessing ourselves if we have an off quarter or a deal falls through.
    • Don’t tie your value to the outcome. The outcome is the destination, but your value builds the journey. It is hard not to dwell and focus on outcome, but when you do you will sell yourself short. Focusing on the outcome with no roadmap ‘how to’ get there is putting the cart before the horse.
      • I have used this example before, but as a piano player, I often think about the next bar of sheet music in a difficult piece. It is good to think ahead, but when I start planning to quickly to move to that piece of the movement – I miss important notes because I’m not focusing on the music right in front of me. This is applicable in sales as well. Keep the outcome on the horizon, but your focus on what is right in front of you
  • Don’t be afraid to bring your value to your team and organization.
    • When you feel intimidated by leadership or are a member of a disjointed team you can often feel like your voice doesn’t matter. You don’t feel empowered to speak up and offer constructive feedback
      • Don’t be afraid to speak from a place of value and to see out those who are open to hearing feedback.
      • Tip: When giving feedback, speak from a place of value – detached from the negative emotions.
  • Your ideas matter – you matter – don’t be afraid to shine and bring your unique creative skills to the table.

Exciting news: I just started a YouTube Channel – videos will be posted regularly. Please subscribe

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s