Hidden Magic Bullet

One sure-fire way to detect the experience of a solution seller is from their readiness to shoot-off their best piece of armoury.

My favoured general rule is to ignore what many would think that logic may suggest. For instance, if you feel that your best sales point is your price, cubreps habitually start off by talking about it (a lot), whereas real success only comes when you leave mentioning it until as late as possible.

One commonplace magic bullet for me has always been introducing a chief tekkie into the proceedings. In several arenas in which I’ve operated, buyers have adored meeting with such people. Their awkwardness, transparently non-sales ability, knowledge and ‘honesty’ can easily combine to outscore any opposition.

At a recent planning session I was involved with, a key pitch was being formulated. One person suggested that the chief tekkie (in this case, effectively an inventor) should be wheeled out in the initial forum.

I managed to alert them to the folly of this tactic. The main point I made was that as solution selling is a process, firing-off not just your magic one, but in this case all of your bullets, would leave no scope for genuine progression.

Not only must you always try and leave yourself with something else to go back with, but you should try and leave deployment of your best weapon until this last possible moment.

I realise that this assertion may be contentious. Yet for me, adopting this mindset both forces the salesperson to focus on the true solution benefits from the prospect point of view, whilst also enabling you to have a bankable close routine should you come down to a tight shortlist-of-two decision.

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