Can You Create Selling Opportunities Out Of Nothing?

Written by Sean McPheat | Linkedin thumb

Sales out of nothingOne of the keys to opening the door to a buyer’s wallet is to determine the position they are in at this moment, and how that position could change in the future.

It’s really important to ascertain the ‘mode’ that a buyer is in, because if we try to ‘pitch’ our product or service to someone who is in the wrong mode, then no amount of salesmanship will succeed.

We need to determine which of three modes the buyer might be in at present:

The ‘OK with my current position’ mode

This is where the potential buyer is happy with their current position and doesn’t need to change

The ‘alternative’ mode

This is where the potential buyer recognises that their current solution doesn’t fit their current or future needs and is actively looking for something different

The ‘dissatisfaction’ mode

This is where the potential buyer may be dissatisfied with the current situation but is not actively seeking an alternative.

Depending on which mode the buyer is in will determine the the price a buyer is willing to pay for your services.

Buyers will pay the value they associate between their current position and their next buying mode.

If the buyer is in the ‘OK now’ mode, the difference between what they have now and your solution is normally too high for them to consider buying from you.

When the buyer recognises that the solution they now have doesn’t meet their needs, they move into the ‘dissatisfaction’ mode. This means that the value of the difference between their current situation and what you provide decreases, and they become a potential buyer.

They see the perceived value of your services as higher than when they are OK with their current position. The value they see you offering means they are more likely to give you a higher profit margin because they associate your product with success for them or their business.

When you make greater profits, you are able to assign more sales resources to servicing the needs of these clients. So, you create a spiral of ‘expectations’ that are met with the quality of your back up service.

This continues to add value to the relationship with the new client and hence takes them out of the ‘dissatisfaction’ mode and into the ‘OK’ mode, meaning they will be less prone to leaving you and going with the competition.

How do you get someone to move from an ‘OK’ mode to one of dissatisfaction’?

You should raise the buyer’s expectation of how his current solution should be performing.

You can do this in a number of ways:

  • Show him how your product can make his business more successful (better productivity, less downtime, greater profit opportunity, etc)
  • Show the buyer how your solution can help him stay ahead of his competitors (offering a better solution at a lower price or at greater value, etc)
  • Show the buyer how your company can be a more desirable partner to his business in the long run, so that it increases your value to him even if they are in the ‘OK’ mode at the moment

All three of these steps will encourage the potential buyer to think of your solution when they have any dissatisfaction with their current position. Not all potential buyers are in the market right now. Where you need to be is in the buyer’s mind when they are ready to change.

That’s when they are in the ‘dissatisfied’ mode and when your solution will make everything ‘OK’.

Happy Selling!


Sean McPheat

Sean McPheat
Managing Director

MTD Sales Training | Image courtesy of Dollarphotoclub

450 sales questions free report

Originally published: 21 October, 2015

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