Recently on a company call our CEO/founder Craig Karmazin said “disruption causes inconvenience but it also creates opportunity”. That opportunity for many of us in sales is that there are more undecided buyers than at any time in history in our industries. Nearly every business and nearly every consumer is looking at decisions differently, because many of our lives and businesses have changed.
As an example, the sports marketing and media world (which GKB operates in), has been completely disrupted. Consumers are not attending events, games and shows in person, which means they are seeing less marketing messages in person, and have fewer opportunities to engage with brands in a traditional on-site manner. In addition, there have been less games (but not necessarily less viewers/listeners) and different ways for fans to consume content. As we’ve all seen in this pandemic, businesses and consumers alike have had to pivot to buy and sell products in a new way, too. In the sports world, media companies now more than ever have to find new/different/better ways that they can connect brands or advertisers with sports fans. Of course, this is not true just in sports media this is true for businesses in many industries.
While we’re seeing more opportunity, there’s also constriction of many buyers’ budgets. We know when budgets tighten buyers put more scrutiny on each purchase. It’s good to remember when budgets get tight, dollars follow the best ideas. The way for us to be the one with best ideas is to first remember some core sales concepts I’ve covered in a few previous Time To Win’s:
- Understand our customers’ and future customers’ constantly changing goals (Every Meeting Is A First Meeting!)
- Make sure we know what our customers and future customers are trying to accomplish with our products (Keep It Simple)
- Put ourselves out there more than anyone else (Cy Young)
After doing those three things, all we need to do is put the benefits the customer is receiving from our products in our customers’ terms while accomplishing the goals they have laid out for us. If you truly believe your product or service will meet your customer’s needs and solve a problem for their business and help them grow… give your customer the opportunity to say “yes”. Ask for the sale!
I realize I’m making this sound easy, but in actuality it can be hard to show a customer a great idea when they have recently told you their focus is to cut expenses significantly. IMO the easy way to do it is to say something like, “based on what you have told me (and then repeat back their goals and what they want to accomplish) I have an idea I want to run by you. Would you be open to discussing?” If you have built a relationship based on trust and have shown you bring value to them, I would imagine they would not only be open to hearing your best idea for their business but would be excited to hear it.
In the next week, find three customers and/or future customers where you know what their goals are and what they would want to accomplish. Then put yourself in their shoes. If you could invest in any idea/solution with you, what would it be and why? If you can answer those two questions confidently for your customers and future customers and you are able to explain the benefits they will receive… GO FOR IT! At a time with smaller budgets, give your customers the opportunity to say yes to your best ideas!