If You Use Inc's Checklist Format You Will Sell More

I can get frustrated with inc.com.

It often revels in being far too “american”. It veers towards surface folderol over detailed depth. And for a while now its headlines are written by a buzzfeed intern. (Here’s a recent classic example of precisely this utter rubbish they should not be publishing).

Yet I still dip in because the odd gem glistens.

Reading one of their typical checklist pieces, I was struck by the paragraph headings.

Each began with “If You…”

In one way it reminded me of outdated first-line approach of direct marketers when I began my career.

“If you crave higher profits and lower costs then you must read on…”

Designed, they claimed, to get the reader nodding along rather than binning the letter.

Anyway, back in the modern, real world … I thought on what a useful qualification technique this could be for us more ‘complex’ sellers.

You must be able to craft five scenarios that largely apply across all your prospect base.

Ones which are properly specific, unlike that DM gibber of old.

I mused on what situations could uniquely identify my current prospects.

If you have a new product launch imminent and you really want it to have all the help it can get…

If you know how soul destroying ‘sales substitution’ feels like when salespeople choose sticking to old products over newly launched…

If you see sales (or feel they might) stall after the fanfare of a glitzy launch event…

If you sense a disconnect seems to appear after marketing colleagues’ (hard) work, and when the salesteam actually get to live with the new product…

If you feel an inkling that for this launch you’d like to do something different from launches you’ve worked on before…

So I picked these five over a Cape Town coffee for an important current project of mine. Aimed at Sales leaders of mainly tech-orientated companies. Still b2b, still solutions.

I post them in their original, unedited state (as I did streamline and alter after). So you can see the value of simply getting anything down on paper. Polish to shine at will.

Here I tried to pinpoint disadvantages that would be recognised through experience. Or ones considered possible pitfalls which they’d definitely like to ensure are avoided.

It strikes me as a useful checklist for any first meeting (or earlier) when you’re running through the kinds of people that typically buy from you.

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