Do you add value to buyers by challenging them to think differently, or do you just agree with everything they say?
Blog post ideas come from everywhere, including amazing and insightful conversations with people you’ve never talked to. I recently had a great conversation with Justin Michael, a Director of Sales at Crowdsource, and we were talking about how we both love the book The Challenger Sale (a must-read for sales and marketing professionals in my opinion).
The premise of The Challenger is really simple: successful sales people are those that show buyers what’s coming up on the horizon, problems they might face, and so on. These sales people challenge the buyer. Their main mission is to be the person that gets buyer to think about “X” in a different way than they’re used to.
All sales people would get a huge upgrade if they became Challengers (yours truly, included).
So the question is, are you a suck up? Are you placating your buyer and agreeing with everything they say instead of pushing back and educating them on what’s right for them?
The Personal Trainer vs. The Bartender
Justin used a great analogy that I’m going to share with you here. Great sales people are like personal trainers. They wake the buyer up at an uncomfortable hour, push them to think about things differently and get them to take uncomfortable steps – basically, all the things that we resist as human beings but are good for our long-term well being.
Or, we can be bartenders. Bartenders feed the buyers drinks all night long, listening to their sob stories, and getting them very inebriated. This is great for us as sales people because we get face time and we think we’re building relationships, but the buyer wakes up drunk in the morning all groggy and hung over.
The Bottom Line
It’s really difficult not to chase that short-term sale. It’s even more difficult to find a way to tell the buyer that they’re way off base. But, if you care about the growth of your personal career, then you know that the long-term views are the ones that should drive you and your buyers.
Social selling is a great way to enable that long-term thinking. For instance, sharing great content that allows the buyer to be challenged and pushes them off their status quo is a great first step.
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