Start with Buyer Goals

Too many sales calls begin and end as a product pitch with a discussion of “our story”, “our product” and “competitive or feature differentiating” dominating the conversation.

A few years back Forrester did research showing that 80% of executives find meetings with sales representatives a waste of time and more than three-quarters specifically said sellers were not “not knowledgeable about their business,” “did not understand their specific issues” and “did not have relevant case studies”

Rather than focus on our story or our product, the most effective way to start, progress, and finish a sales conversation is around buyer goals. Starting with buyer goals and value is the key to build buying urgency.  It also sets up land and expand potential with our accounts — as we accomplish one goal it makes it possible to move onto a next goal.

So, how can we get more quickly to a buyers goals and specific issues?  Here are three strategies at Winalytics we have seen work to effectively start a each new buyer conversation around their goals and challenges:

  • A goal-oriented agenda at the outset of the meeting
  • A 60-second elevator pitch to qualify buyer goals
  • Buyer research that motivates the sales conversation


A Goal-Oriented Agenda

One very simple way is to open each meeting agreeing that your goal for the meeting is to explore fit or alignment. An example:

I scheduled us for <agreed to timeframe>. Does that timing still work?

  • Here’s what I’d like to cover in our call today:
  • I’ll start with a quick overview on us and our unique value
  • Then I would like explore your key current goals and initiatives
  • My aim for today is to identify if we can advance your key initiatives
  • Does that sound right?  Was there anything specific you wanted to discuss today?


A 60-Second Commercial

A second simple strategy is to follow your agenda with a 60-second commercial that explains our unique value and gives the prospect an opportunity to immediately qualify themselves into a problem we solve.  A good 60-second commercial answers five key questions:

  • What problem do we solve?
  • What unique approach in our approach to this problem?
  • What is market footprint with similar organizations?
  • What proof do we have our approach works?
  • What strong points of alignment does the prospect see immediately?


Buyer Self-Qualification

A third strategy is to follow an agenda with a quick review of what you’ve learned from company research to quickly let the buyer qualifying themselves into a set of call goals. It might sound something like:

  • Research: “I reviewed your financial statements and earning reports” or “I saw your CEO or one your VPs quote quoted in X media”
  • Goals: “It sounds like X and Y are major priorities for the business. How are those goals impacting your organization?”
  • Gaps: “What are the major barriers or gaps that are keeping you from those goals?”