Telemarketing Software Featured Article

Good Selling Means Helping Solve Your Clients' Problems

July 13, 2016
By Tracey E. Schelmetic - Telemarketing Software Contributor

When it comes to selling, whether it’s in-person or via the telephone in the form of outbound telemarketing, one of the biggest challenges, of course, is getting your client to understand why he or she (or the company) needs to take action. Inertia is a big roadblock to sales: many people would like to stand still and take no action, limping along with old equipment, old software or proprietary systems that may not be working for them anymore. They are still, however, reluctant to take action…because of inertia. Doing nothing always seems like the easiest option.

In sales parlance, this moment of inertia represents a strong opportunity for the savvy sales professional. It’s sometimes called “the burning platform,” and it involves helping a customer understand that staying where they are is not an option, and that it will ultimately result in disaster. From the inception, getting a customer to move means looking for a crisis that can be highlighted: changing economic circumstances, changing customer expectations or rising competition.

Even if the customer isn’t aware that the platform is burning, he or she is certainly aware that there’s some dissonance going on in the organization, according to a recent blog post by sales professional Anthony Iannarino.

“Dissonance is an excellent word to describe the state in which you find many of your dream clients, those clients for whom you could create breathtaking, jaw dropping, earth shattering value and who would be willing to pay you for it,” he wrote. “But there is one problem: they’ve learned to live with the dissonance. The status quo has taken root.”

Savvy telemarketers or outside sales professionals will use this dissonance felt by their “dream clients” to create an opportunity. It will require some research. What is your client’s business model? Is it still relevant in today’s market conditions? Look at surveys and studies of customer behavior. Has it changed considerably and is your client meeting customer expectations? Are their profit margins shrinking?

While customers may be aware of the dissonance (if not the burning), chances are good that it’s an issue they don’t want to face alone, according to Iannarino. They expect some savvy, value creating salesperson to be looking out for them

“Look for a crisis that you can highlight,” he wrote. “They are often lurking nearby, forlorn and unnoticed. You can also engineer your own crisis that forces change. The compelling case for change begins with dissonance. In what areas do your dream clients feel dissonance now? How do you agitate that dissonance and teach your dream clients the root cause and the compelling reason to change? What evidence is available to help you make your case?”

Many buyers get caught up in day-to-day administrative crises, and have no time to think long-term. Chances are good that they will welcome a discussion with a sales professional about what actions they can take now to plan for the long-term. (Nobody really wants to do it alone.) The trick, for good sellers, will be to correctly identify WHAT is burning in your client’s world and find a viable way to put the fire out. 

Edited by Alicia Young