How Top Performers Execute Insight Selling
In case you haven't heard, buyer behavior has dramatically changed. Buyers are empowered and more sophisticated and, thanks to the internet, are flooded with information and research overload. At the same time your buyers are searching—often in vain— for new ways to innovate, compete, and improve their success. When salespeople bring valuable insights and ideas to their buyers, they strengthen their relationships, differentiate from their competition, and win more sales.
Think about someone you seek out when you're working through a challenge or difficult decision you have to make. They help you think things through and see what’s important. They ask the right questions. They listen. They don’t just give you answers—they help you come up with them. On the other hand, they’re not afraid to tell you what they think, to share their ideas, and take a stand when they feel strongly about something. People like this make you better. They help you see what's possible. That's why you get so much value from interacting with them. That's why you seek them out again and again. This is what today’s top performing sales professionals look like.
Because of the internet, today’s informed buyers have a lot of information to sift through and options to consider but they don’t necessarily have more wisdom or confidence in the decisions they must make. They need salespeople like you-to share your perspective, fresh ideas and insights to help them think ideas through. Yet, this is where so many sellers are struggling, falling short and losing, while a select few are getting it right and winning. Here is what today’s buyers are saying about working with top performing sales professionals.
- My salesperson educates me insights, ideas, and new and different perspectives
- My salesperson collaborates with me on how to improve my business results
- My salesperson asks me thought provoking questions which gives me clarity and helps me see new and different ways in which I can achieve improved results
The common thread is top performing sales professionals are educating their customers. When you educate your buyers you bring ideas to them directly. Collaboration often inspires great ideas. In fact, there’s plenty of research to suggest that great ideas come from collaboration. When you employ insight selling, which is the the process of creating and winning sales opportunities, and driving change by sharing ideas and perspectives that matter, you will find yourself in president’s club more often than not.
There are a couple of different ways in which sales professionals employ insight selling:
Opportunity Insight: Opportunity Insight focuses on sharing a particular idea that is likely to create an opportunity (that didn't previously exist prior to the seller sharing their idea) and eventually a sale. To do this, you must share your idea proactively with your buyer. You’re not going to find any buyers who call you and say "Hey, do you have any new ideas for me?" It’s up to you to create the opportunity by reaching out to your prospect and sharing your idea with them. Every idea you share of course will not always lead to an opportunity and a closed sale. But opportunity insight will create customer loyalty because it shows that you’re thinking about them and that you have their best interest at heart. Educating your buyers not only showcases your expertise, but it also demonstrates your desire to collaborate with your buyer.
Collaborative Insight: Collaborative insight provides value in the form of brainstorming. Brainstorming sparks ideas and inspires "AHA! moments" and shaping strategies based on collaboration between you and your buyer. You're not just there to sell them something; you're there to shape ideas and inspire changes that could benefit their business.
Just like your mentor might help you come up with your own ideas, you can do the same for your customers if you practice insight selling. By practicing insight selling you help your customers think outside the box by asking them thought provoking questions, pushing them outside of their comfort zone and challenging their assumptions. When you do this your buyers will often come to insights and conclusions on their own. The net result is that your customer will appreciate this and want to work with you because collaborating with you is a valuable and memorable experience for them. This means they will buy from you, frequently.
Selling by sharing insights builds customer loyalty and earn repeat sales. Whether presenting the buyer with a new opportunity, or simply collaborating, if you practice insight selling you will drive change with ideas and perspectives that matter.
How are you building value for your customers? How are you differentiating yourself from your competition? Start incorporating consultative selling and specifically insight selling strategies into your toolkit and you will be delighted with the results.
About Dan Fisher
Dan Fisher is founder and owner of Menemsha Group, a provider of sales enablement solutions dedicated to helping IT staffing firms improve win rates, shorten their sales cycle, and increase revenue per sales rep. Since launching Menemsha Group in 2008, Dan has consulted with over 200 IT staffing firms and has invested over 5000 hours coaching IT staffing sales reps. He’s authored is his own proprietary sales methodology and has previously spoken at Staffing World, TechServe Alliance and Bullhorn Live 2012. Prior to launching Menemsha Group, Dan spent 16 years in the IT industry running local, regional and national sales teams. Dan worked for Kelly Services, Oracle Corporation and Alliance Consulting. Dan currently resides in Boston, Ma.