5. Stage 2 - Create need

  1. The “Create Need” stage is crucial. Get this wrong and either the deal won't happen or your competition could win the deal.

  2. The purpose of the “Create Need” stage is to get to the “propose” stage (Stage 3). You're not looking to win the deal at this point.

  3. If you don't create a wide enough need to fill with your solution, deals will appear to stick. If this is the case, go back & re-scope the need.

  4. In order to create a need, you have to work hard, so the buyer recognises there is a gap between their “current state” and a “future state.”

  5. Ask what “utopia” or “success” looks like. This is the ideal “future state”. Explain to your customer how YOU can get them there.

  6. If the incumbent is poor at customer service, sell great customer service. If they're poor at reliability, sell reliability.

  7. If a customer's “current state” is not more painful than your proposed “future state” the deal won't happen. Find the pain, then position a fix.

  8. In today's economy the grass doesn't need to be greener - it needs to cut & water itself too. Max the gap between the “current” & “future” states.

  9. Revenue growth, cost reduction and compliance are three “future state” destinations you need to link your solution to.

  10. Always provide a demonstrable & material Return on Investment for any future state solution - drop the marketing fluff and position the facts.

  11. Remember, virtually every purchase tracks back to a need from a C-Level sponsor. Ensure you know who the C-Level person is - and they know who you are.

  12. If you're selling to a CEO, focus on how you'll GROW their business. If you're selling to Ops, focus on how you'll help them RUN their dept.

  13. Tune in to corporate goals/objectives ... An acquisitive organisation will have different goals and needs than one that's for sale.

  14. Linking your sales to legal & compliancy laws can help create a need, but don't hold a metaphorical gun to your buyer's head.

  15. The less a customer has to change their way of working to accommodate your solution, the better. Too much change = low priority pile.

  16. If your product is easy to buy, you are more likely to sell it. Take away all the barriers and anxieties early on.

  17. Selling is about offering something different - it's about differentiation, not simulation.

  18. A flexible commercial offering can be more important than what you're selling. If you can't “product differentiate”, then “commercially differentiate”.

  19. If you can offer what your competition are offering, but with less commitments & red-tape, you'll soon take their market.

  20. Be clear, are you a market “maker” or a market “taker”. “Makers” must know “Why X over Y?”. “Takers” must know “Why me?”