RESET: Closing vs. Coaching and GuidingNovember 20, 2013 | By Wayne O'Neill
The traditional selling process (which we are not saying is bad) focuses on closing and what we refer to as the numbers game.
What we want you to consider is an Account Development approach that leads to authentic client connections, and sustainable business growth. In this video, Wayne compares and contrasts the traditional selling approach vs. The Connections Process, his methodology for building long-term accounts.
I’d like to intrigue you today with considering a more effective way to growing your firm and so I’d like to compare and contrast two different methodologies that I see most often employed , particularly when you look at firms offering services or products that are complex in nature to implement. Th at’s traditio nal selling, w hich is really focused on closing, versus connection, which is really focused on account building. A seed I want to plant with you is that at the end of the connections process, your client is actually coaching you and guiding you into the implementation of using your product or using your service. So where does all this start? It’s not that traditional selling is bad. No, traditional selling is focused on a numbers game. It’s focused on getting the meeting. It’s focused on, again, the closing. But none of us like to be closed, so kind of the metaphor I want you to think about is like it’s kind of like the guy who bangs his head on the elevator door and the door opens afterwards and you think well that’s what really causes the door to open as opposed to somebody else pushing the button. That’s what the trap is on traditional selling. On connection based account building, where that’s really based is on looking for solutions and connecting it with clients in a diverse way and again, ending up with a process where the client really guides you through how they’re going to leverage and use your product or service. But where does it all start? It starts with the process of looking for smart clients. I don’t mean literally smart clients. What I mean is clients that are open to solutions, that are open to looking at lessons learned, that are not, if they’re in the higher education business, they’re willing to look at somebody who’s got some excellence of delivery in healthcare or excellence of delivery in the corporate world. They’re not stuck in how many things have you done within the last two years within a two mile radius with the exact same team with clients that are just similar to them. That’s procurement thinking. Smarter clients are open to bigger ideas but since we coach customers and owners at a trustee level and at an executive level. Here’s the biggest lesson to learn. Those clients complain to us that service providers, especially in their marketing efforts and their sales efforts, don’t seem to know enough about the business and political issues. Here’s what’s simple, a simple way to get your arms around it. Here’s our, almost every client can wrap that up into six different aspects. One, who are they competing with. And not who are they competing with today but who are they competing with from an evolving standpoint. Who are their customers? What’s going on with their staff? Is it just a Gen X, Gen Y and Millenial issue or is it using the diversity of today’s workforce? Who are their stakeholders? Even if they’re a not for profit, how is their operating model evolving? How are they making money? But the next big change that can lead to connection is who else is already connected to that client? That’s a big clue. If you’re trying to approach a healthcare system and you only see them working an Oracle or an IBM or all the big brand names, that’s a clue. Do you see them working with a firm that may have just been launched by a venture capital firm? That’s a different kind of clue. Those firms can coach you on the most effective way to start a process and not just get the meeting. So what am I telling you with all of this? I’m not just telling you that traditional selling is wrong. I’m not telling you even closing is wrong. But I am telling you a connection process that’s based on account development can be faster, much more sustainable and that if your product or service has high impact over a long period of time, it really can lead you to implementing and starting that process in the most effective way possible. Thanks for spending time with me. Be safe.