The only way a sales deal can happen is with proper positioning of appropriate leverage in crafting and presenting a deal.
The word leverage can have multiple connotations and occasionally they can be negative: there are unscrupulous folks who will twist or turn leverage into a negative tool with which to manipulate to get their way. Just like sales itself, anything can and has been unfortunately mistreated, yet leverage in its pure form can very much be used to the advantage of what I deem the holy sales trinity: customer, company and you. All three must benefit in every deal.
Your entire sales function exists to bring value – to your clients and your company. Leverage in creating a deal can apply to leverage that you are able to use on a customer’s behalf when in search of internal mechanisms to incentivize your customer to buy. It can apply to how you can tap into various different qualifying buckets to make a deal more attractive for a client. And, ultimately, unless you have leverage to motivate a client or potential client to make a change from what they do right now (whether an alternative option or nothing at all) in the area you specialize, no deal will be made.
- You work on behalf of your client or potential client. You exist to support them, add service, be responsive and, in essence, serve as your own form of leverage. They are getting you in the deal as well.
- You utilize components of the customers’ needs (both the ones they realize and the ones you help them realize) to match them to different components of your potential offer. Are you able to offer discounts or other offers or promotions based on your conversation? Your leverage that is gleaned from the conversations and relationship with the customer is created by knowing your client, understanding their business, following the industry and trends, and effectively showcasing why your solution is required to remedy any potential gaps in their process. This leverage is essential; if the customer does not envision greener grass with you, they will stay on their side.
- You will use your client’s scenario, the potential upsides and your company’s desire to win their business as leverage in creating a deal for your customer. As a true proponent of your clients, you advocate on their behalf – you’re selling your team and your leadership to support you and the client by coming to the table with a worthwhile actionable deal. The more you can do to qualify your customer for different incentives and to show your leadership and your team why the customer merits special consideration and attention, the more likely your efforts will culminate in an attractive offer your client will be apt to agree to. I literally like to tell clients that I am using everything at my disposal to create leverage on their behalf with which to go back and create their deal. They want us to advocate on their behalf.
- Leverage additional relationships in the business to win the crowd! Are you merely targeting one potential buyer or decision maker in the organization? Or are you gaining multiple vantage points and perspectives, so that you can tell the CEO or the VP, “Hey, John VP and Mary CFO told me that this would be great for their current project because of XXX.” Leverage is merely an advantage of some sort for whomever is positioning it based on factors that exist. Making sure to play up those factors and optimize them is the most important role. A decision maker will be more likely and more comfortable committing to a course of action if other members of their team have recommended it and support it. Keep this in mind. It’s the same reason we leverage our network when prospecting, when making connections in different companies – even when job-hunting! Having a personal touch aiding you in achieving your goal substantially enhances your chances of success in whatever endeavor you are engaging in.
- Leverage the variables and the controllables. Leverage your customers’ needs and wants in putting together an attractive proposal that will entice their emotions and desire for change. Leverage your knowledge to bring together all sides engaged in the deal. Your intricate understanding of customer emotions and company and industry inner workings and any and all factors that will play in to a decision (timing, the steps that will be required to get from the present to the signature, and the sometimes multiple components of the deal itself) will serve your customer, company and you well.
A deal does not exist without leverage. Ensure your client’s outcome is top of mind and utilize everything at your disposal to craft a deal they can’t refuse.
Carson V. Heady has written a book entitled “Birth of a Salesman” and sequels “The Salesman Against the World” and “A Salesman Forever” which take the unique approach of serving as sales/leadership books inside of novels showing proven sales principles designed to birth you into the top producer you were born to be. If you would like to strengthen your sales skills, go to http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00ICRVMI2/ref=cm_sw_r_tw_dp_yGXKtb0G
Heady posts for “Consult Carson” serving as the “Dear Abby” of sales and sales leadership. You may post any question that puzzles you regarding sales and sales leadership careers: interviewing, the sales process, advancing and achieving.
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