Pre Sales Strategy for IT Professionals
Convincing people is not a task that can formulate to attain 100% results. In this blog, we will discuss how to convince a prospect to opt for your product against your competitors.
How do you explain when other companies achieve growth in a way that defies all assumptions? For example, how is Apple so innovative? Though it has access to same agencies, consultants, and media, why is it that it stands out?
Why did Martin Luther king lead a Civil Rights Movement when he wasn’t the only citizen who bore the brunt of racism in the US.
There is something else at play here. About 11 and a half years ago Simon Sinek, a British –American author, motivational speaker and marketing consultant, made a discovery that profoundly changed his views on how the world works.
It turns out, there is a pattern followed by all the great leaders and organizations like Apple, Martin Luther King or Wright Brothers. They all think, act, and communicate in the exact same manner, codified by Simon. He called it the Golden Circle.
Why, How & What.
WHAT: Every single person in every organization knows WHAT they do a 100%.
HOW: Some know how they do it and sell it as their key value proposition, proprietary processor or a Unique Selling Point.
WHY: Very few people or organizations know why they do what they do. Why here does not refer to the profits rather results or a “Purpose”. What is your cause? What is your belief? Why does your organization exist? Why do we get out of bed in the morning and why should anyone care?
According to Simon Sinek, the way we think, communicate and act is based on the outside in, the obvious, and the clearest:
But successful organizations think, act, and communicate from the inside out:
For example we use Apple because it is easy to understand and use. If Apple was like everyone else, a marketing message from them would be:
WHAT: We make great computers.
HOW: They are beautifully designed. Simple to use and user friendly.
WHY: Want to buy one.
Our response to such advertisement will be, meh maybe. That’s how most of marketing and sales communication is done. We simply tell what we do, how we do it and how it is better, and then expect a behavior; a purchase.
But here is how Apple disrupted the market:
WHY: In everything we do, we believe in changing the status quo, we believe in thinking differently.
HOW: The way we challenge the status quo is by beautifully designing the products. User friendly.
WHAT: We just happen to make great computers. Want to buy one?
Apple reversed the order from outside-in to inside-out as it turns out that people do not buy what you make, people buy why you make it. This explains why people are comfortable buying a computer, mp3 player or a phone from Apple. However, there are competitors in the market who are equally qualified to make Computers, mp3 players or phones.
Dell makes perfectly designed mp3 players but no one was interested in buying one from a computer company. Samsung has also captured a big chunk of market by following the same strategy. The strategy is not to do business with everybody who needs WHAT you have, rather with people who believe in what you believe in.
The best part is this strategy is not an opinion from Simon, rather a grounded rule of biology, not even psychology. If you look at cross section of a brain from top-down, you will see that the brain is broken into three major components perfectly matched with the Golden Circle. The outer most part of our brain or the neocortex corresponds to the WHAT level. It is responsible for rational and analytical thoughts and language. The middle two sections make up a limbic brain responsible for feelings and decision making, with no capacity for language. In other words, when we communicate from outside-in, we cannot understand the vast amount of complicated information like product features & figures. When we communicate from inside out, we are talking to a part of the brain that controls behavior and allows people to rationalize. This is where gut decisions come from.
You can give someone all the facts and figures in the world and they will seem to understand it, but this just simply doesn’t drive behavior.
If we do not know why we do what we do then how will we ever get people to buy something from us or more importantly be loyal and become a part of a joint belief and value? Again, the goal is not to sell what you have, the goal is to sell to people who believe in what you believe in.
Hire people who believe what you believe. Same applies in the field of consultancy. Knowing your prospect is crucial before any pre-sales or a demonstration meeting. If we convince the prospect that we already know the ins and outs of their industry, we hit that part of the brain which is controlling the behavior. However, if we keep taking about our capability, our features and our strengths, the response will be meh, maybe.
Speaking their language makes it easier for them to trust us and open up about their problems where we can then showcase our capabilities and solution features.
Disclaimer: The views expressed here are solely those of the author in his private capacity and do not in any way represent the views of Systems Limited, or any other entity related to Systems Limited.