When it comes to selling technology, many sales people are trained or conditioned to sell the whistles and bells of their product or service (i.e. – the features), in an attempt to convince prospects of their offering being better or cheaper than the competition’s. They focus on the technical (often slight) differences and advantages that their technology brings to the table, rather than positioning value. One danger of that approach is that very often the discussion ends up to be price focused. The issue with that approach is that:
There is always going to be somebody offering a cheaper solution!
Once you have discussions on price, you fail to provide guidance to your prospect, helping them understand why your solution could be the best fit. It is our responsibility in sales to partner with clients, rather than convincing them of something they might not want or need. If we as sales people have done our research and we target companies that are a good fit for our service offering, it should be all about the value that we bring to the table. Many technologies offer similar features and the differences, right? While these features are important to the company who sells the technology, they might not be seen immediately as of value to the prospect.
The fact is that it’s really NOT about the technology; it’s about what VALUE your specific technology solution can bring to your prospect’s business.
When prospecting, the goal in every interaction with the prospect should be to discover what is of unique value to that particular individual and then provide a sensible solution accordingly.
Find the Right Person to Target
Tailor your messages to the need of the person you are engaging with. Technology sales people tend to lead with technology, even when they talk to decision makers who are not tech savvy. This often leads to the prospects being overwhelmed and/or confused.
Technology details are only relevant to the person who is a tech buyer, the person who understands the differences and nuances when it comes to technology. That person is seldom the person who writes the checks. Economic buyers however are always interested in what the technology can do for their business, in other words how it can help them make or save money or time.
Lead with Value
It’s not about the technology, but what the technology can do for that organization. That proposition might be different for every single company, so you will need to do your research. In the end it will pay off. If you offer a technology that can help companies stay connected to the internet without interruptions (like one of our clients), focus on the value that solution brings to this client. Losing internet connection these days can have devastating effects on companies, but the consequences might differ depending on the industry. In the public sector, it might mean that ambulances don’t get to an accident scene on time. In a retail environment the effects might be less drastic, but very costly. If your client’s employees can’t open hundreds or more of their cash registers due to a lost connection, it can result in lost revenue.
Being cheaper is not the solution
Here is the lesson to learn for sales people who sell technology enabled solutions. Higher price might not be an issue, as long as the solution that you are offering is relevant to the individual who is buying it and they feel it’s worth it. Personally, I don’t mind paying more if I actually understand why the price tag is higher. Good sales people help clients understand the value of their solution and why the cheaper solution might have downfalls.
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