Helping Customers to Rethink Their Assumptions
The biggest shift we’ve seen in customer buying behaviour, again, is the fact that with your customers today you’re biggest competitor is not your competition. It’s not the person that would immediately or the company that would immediately come to mind when you think of your competitor.
Your biggest competition today is your customers’ ability to learn on their own. In fact, for a company we work with I did a win-loss analysis and they were surprised to learn that 80% of the time when they actually lose deals they don’t lose to their biggest competitors, they lose to no decision. It’s a customer’s inability to come to a consensus and agreement on moving forward on a big, new vision, a disrupted vision, often.
The best salespeople understand this. They understand that customers are going out and learning on their own so they’re teaching customers where they learn. They also understand that customers are showing up to the table armed to the teeth with assumptions and data and insights of their own and that to get the customer to rethink their assumptions and to rethink the role that the supplier can play in addressing their businesses you’ve got to bring provocative insights to the table to make the customer blink, to unteach them, and to back them up in their learning journey.