Have you ever wondered why a company did or didn’t buy a particular solution? Was it your fabulous selling skills or was it the lack thereof? A lot of reasons can be attributed to why companies buy; Increased efficiencies, improved productivity, enhanced utilization, blah, blah blah . . . . While these are all valid and important points, they are not primary reasons that companies buy.
Organizations make decisions for a variety of reasons but when it comes to purchasing, organizations make decisions primarily for one of two reasons; they either want to make money or they want to save money.
In sales, our job is to find out which of these is the driving factor and position the solution to meet the desired outcome. If there is a way to accomplish making the client money while saving dollars, so be it, but you must fully understand what the client truly wants to accomplish.
If the client wants to make money are they looking at top-line growth or bottom line revenue generation? (There is a big distinction between these two but more on that in a later post) No matter how the revenue is created it comes down to either; 1) find and secure new customers or 2) get more out of existing customers.
The first one requires that organizations (your customer) look at their strengths then find a commonality with where their success is today, meaning same type vertical market, same type of applications etc. This is often very difficult for a variety of reasons. It could be that no one has ever approached that organization or if someone from the company did, they weren’t calling on the right person or probably they have a great relationship with their current vendors. Even if they approached this area, the sales cycle is going to be long and difficult.
The easiest and quickest way to generate new revenues is to get more out of existing customers. Sometimes that involves thinking out of the box. Looking at the customer in different ways. Finding new and innovative ways to solve problems and offer alternatives. It can be an area or service that the organization offers that their client may not have been aware of.
If the client is looking to save money, what amount are they looking to save? Is it a percentage or is it an actual dollar amount? Are they looking at direct cost, indirect cost, or total cost of ownership? Is it immediate or longer term savings? Does the decision affect just their department or a particular area of the business or can the cost savings come from other areas of the organization?
Bottom line (no pun intended) is that you need to fully understand what exactly the customer is trying to accomplish with their decision making. Yes, saving money in these difficult times is important, but you can’t overlook the long term profit potential. The better grounded you are with why the customer is looking to buy, i.e. Making Money or Saving Money, the better you can respond with a solution that will meet the customer’s requirements.