Speaking with a chap selling big ticket printing presses called Graham, I picked up a useful insight from him about intel he uses to throw into general “chit-chat” with prospects. With a portfolio in his bag including items costing well over a million, most potential buyers are aware they’ll get hit with business case arguments. Yet Graham has found success in out-manoeuvring competition by dropping in what he learns from people outside of his own sales department.
His trick is to constantly ask questions like “why would someone buy our ‘xyz’ over a competitor’s ‘abc’?“, and “what are the top 3 reasons someone would be interested in x?”
He finds he gets some terrific answers from his post-sales delivery guys. One time, he was at an exhibition helping one of them set-up, who was standing on top of a machine to fix some downlighters in a ceiling above it. Graham asked what the difference was between the machine under him and a particular competitor model. The instant reply was “you couldn’t stand on it and do this for a start…!” with a resulting conversation about robustness outside matched by weakness inside giving Graham a load of new ammo to successfully deploy in the field.