The Hidden Buyer

Written by Steve Waterhouse

How to protect yourself againstrepparttar unseen enemy

The meeting ended with smiles and handshakes butrepparttar 139450 next day you learnedrepparttar 139451 truth. You had lostrepparttar 139452 deal.

What went wrong?

One possibility is your proposal. Most of us are pretty good at selling. We do it face to face. We do it overrepparttar 139453 phone. Some of us are even fairly talented at selling in letters. But how many of us sell in our proposals?

Sell in proposals? You might have heard me lecture that proposals should contain no surprises and that they should summarizerepparttar 139454 agreement that was already reached byrepparttar 139455 parties. So where doesrepparttar 139456 selling come in? It comes in withrepparttar 139457 hidden buyer….

Every sales person is trained to map outrepparttar 139458 customers’ buying process and make sure they know every person who will be influencing this deal. You ask allrepparttar 139459 right questions of allrepparttar 139460 right people. You double check what one person says againstrepparttar 139461 others. You ask other reps to tell you who was involved in their deals. You’re covered.


The hidden buyer lurks in any large company and many small ones. This isrepparttar 139462 person who has givenrepparttar 139463 team you are working with “full authority” to cutrepparttar 139464 deal and writerepparttar 139465 check. This person said that there was no reason to get them involved. They are master delegators. Except when they change their mind or whenrepparttar 139466 team decides that they would like this person to “give it one last look” before they sign. At that moment,repparttar 139467 only sales person inrepparttar 139468 room is your proposal.

How scared are you now?

Pull out one of your recent proposals and let’s see what’s in there. If it is to stand on it’s own, it must containrepparttar 139469 following sections:

Summary of need – The customer must be confident that you understand their problem. They must know that you are both starting fromrepparttar 139470 same place and that you understand how they got there so you won’t dig them deeper intorepparttar 139471 same hole. This section says, “I heard you, I understood you, I believe you” torepparttar 139472 customer.

1. Statement of Objectives

The customer wants to know what you are going to do and that it isrepparttar 139473 same list that you proposed in your meetings. They want a check list to measure your work against and something that begins to justify your price. This isrepparttar 139474 first concrete evidence thatrepparttar 139475 client can see that gives them hope in a better future.

2. Task List or Methodologies

This isrepparttar 139476 path torepparttar 139477 future and showsrepparttar 139478 client how you will connect their need with their objectives. It isrepparttar 139479 answer torepparttar 139480 question, “What are you planning to do” and needs to be clear enough to helprepparttar 139481 client build faith in your ability to deliver.

3. Measures of Success

How will they know when you have succeeded? How will they measurerepparttar 139482 improvement? What can they see, count, measure? The easier it is forrepparttar 139483 client to seerepparttar 139484 result,repparttar 139485 easier it is to sellrepparttar 139486 deal. If you can’t measure it, you can’t sell it.

4. Relevant Experience

You need to show that you have done this before and that it’s like falling off a log for you and your company to accomplish this or helprepparttar 139487 client reach their goals. The more specificrepparttar 139488 better, for example: “We have helped 15 pharmaceutical companies increase sales by an average of over 15% inrepparttar 139489 first year of our programs.” Think of this as your marketing kit and reference letters digested down to a few sentences.

Value Selling

Written by Steve Waterhouse

How to create business whenrepparttar PO's all dry up.

If you have not experienced a drop in sales recently, you might choose to skip this issue. Onrepparttar 139439 other hand, if you miss it, you just might find yourself competing with those who learned this technique.

Two things happen in a down market that directly affect every sales professional.

1. Total spending is cut irrationally

2. Buying power moves uprepparttar 139440 organization

The cure for each of these problems is found in Value Selling. Simple features and benefits selling is designed to satisfy needs whenrepparttar 139441 client is buying but it's tough to use them with a client who isn't.

Total spending is cut irrationally

In down markets, you will often hear clients complain about their company's 10% across-the-board budget cuts. They explain it to you as if it actually made sense and then use if as an excuse for not buying. It's safe to say that any company that cuts 10% out of every department has failed to takerepparttar 139442 time to analyze their spending needs properly. After all, if you were in a boat that was 10% over weight, would you toss 10% of everything overboard? If you did,repparttar 139443 engine would stop running andrepparttar 139444 hull would begin to leak!

Your job is to help your clients examine their businesses in such a way that they realize that your offering will actually add money (Value) to their bottom line. Only when we do, will they feel justified in reallocating money to buy your product or service.

There is one major caveat to Value Selling: Your offering must, in some way, actually be able to helprepparttar 139445 client earn or save more than it costs.

Step 1: Develop your case

Imagine you arerepparttar 139446 CEO of your client's company. Even in a downturn, you would gladly give a trip to Aruba to any employee who could show you how to significantly increase sales or cut costs. Your job is to make a case that would earn that trip. Here's how to do it:

a. Understandrepparttar 139447 client's business - You must investigate your client's business as if you were going to buy it. You need to know their "critical numbers", those statistics that every manager watches every day. You need to know how your offering fits into their business and what affect it could have onrepparttar 139448 critical numbers.

b. Build a positive scenario - Once you fully understandrepparttar 139449 details, prepare a proposal that showsrepparttar 139450 positive affect of your offering andrepparttar 139451 return on investment thatrepparttar 139452 company will experience by purchasing it.

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