One of the best strategies to gain increased engagement with a prospect or customer is to approach them with three thoughtful, relevant ideas about how you can help their business. In this way, you’ll drive an agenda favorable to your business, increase your credibility as a strategic partner, and differentiate yourself from the competition.
I call this concept Three New Ideas, and it’s a game-changer when you’re trying to create new sales opportunities for yourself. Think of a competitive sales cycle in which you’re one of several vendors vying for a company’s business. The easy approach is to simply go through the motions (like 80% of transactional salespeople) and let yourself be led around by the prospect until they decide they’re ready to buy. You may even win a couple of these deals and book some revenue.
Or, you can assert yourself as an innovative sales professional and come to the table with three new concepts that challenge the buyer’s pre-conceived notions and push them to expand their thinking. This is where top producers focus their energy and how strategic deals are created and signed. If your goal is to blow out your number this year, Three New Ideas will help you to hit home runs instead of singles by turning routine buyer interest into something special.
Your work begins by researching the target company to identify their biggest goals and challenges for the current year. What are the executives worried and talking about? Every strategic deal starts with a big problem, and your task is to uncover these challenges and then position your offering as a possible solution. Bring one idea to the table and you’re sunk if it gets shot down, but three ideas give you a range of possibilities and more opportunities for the buyer to say ‘Yes.’
I run these ideas past my coach/sponsor and ask for their help pitching the executive. I want the sponsor to feel a sense of ownership, because then they’ll help me to perfect the pitch and schedule meetings with the right people. If they can take credit for a winning idea and help implement it, all the better.
Sitting down with an executive to present three new concepts that can help their business is a powerful exercise that steers the conversation and your relationship in a positive direction. It will differentiate you from the other salespeople content to sign a transactional deal. It will elevate you from simple vendor to strategic partner. Your deals will grow and you’ll book more revenue. Finally, you’ll take control of the sales cycle and lead buyers in new directions that will help their business and yours.
Three New Ideas is Technique #3 in my book “The 40 Best Sales Techniques Ever: Conquer the Leaderboard, Crash President’s Club, and Make More Money”. Perks members receive a 10% discount.Published in