Our discussion of the 3 big ideas of Lean Selling started with our previous installment, where we discussed the first big idea, Sales as a Service. In this article we’ll be discussing the second big idea. This idea is vitally important to your Buyer but many salespeople fail to consider it. Neglecting to focus on this idea from the perspective of your Buyer puts you at risk of losing out on the opportunity to make more sales and have happier Buyers. Here’s the second big idea.
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Once you view Sales as a Service you are ready to take the next step, which is to identify not only the value your company provides with its product or service, but the value you provide from the perspective of the Buyer. You must know what a Buyer really wants from an engagement with you, before you can know how to make your sales process more Lean. This is because value in Lean Thinking is defined entirely by the customer, not by the company. In fact, Lean Thinking considers any activity that does not increase value in the eyes of the customer to be waste that should be reduced or eliminated.
By waste, I am referring here to the activities within a company that do not move a Buyer forward toward a decision to buy something. If the Buyer or prospect doesn’t value what they are getting from your sales process, it’s waste, according to Lean Thinking. The more value a sales process creates for the Buyer—solely as defined by the Buyer—the leaner the selling process is. Therefore, the second big Lean Selling idea is to maximize selling efforts to produce the value Buyers want, and reduce or eliminate everything else.
This new way of thinking about how salespeople can engage with their prospects opens the door to surprising opportunities for salespeople to add unique and differentiating value for a Buyer. For example, if a deep dive into what a Buyer values reveals that he or she has both rational and emotional desires to be satisfied by an engagement with a salesperson, it could lead salespeople to an entirely new way of approaching and collaborating with a Buyer.
Have you thought about what you are delivering when you sell? Have you evaluated the value you provide Buyers who engage with you? Do you know what they value? Have you asked them?
If you haven’t, you should start, and soon. Your buyers are looking for sellers that can provide the value they really want, and will go wherever they can get it. Move your No Decision prospects forward, and begin to eliminate the waste in your sales process. Increase the number of sales you close each month—just by doing something as simple as giving buyers more of what they want!
Next week, we wrap up this series with the third big idea from Lean Selling. Until then, you can join the discussion in the LinkedIn group, Lean Selling.