Curiosity. On a scale of 1 to 10 (1 is not good…10 is world class), how would you rate the “curiosity” of your salespeople?
If it’s below 7, keep reading.
Dictionary.com defines curiosity as “the desire to learn or know about anything; inquisitiveness.”
Many of the CEOs and Sales Leaders I speak with want their sales people to be more curious.
Why, you may ask? (gold star for being curious!)
They know, that the “uncommon” sales conversations are the ones that yield the most results.
The conversations that goes beyond feature, function and benefit conversation, aka the “pitch.”
Or the conversation focused purely on ROI and business case.
These executives know that their buyers are human – human first, buyers second.
Humans have a deep need to be understood, at business level AND at a personal level.
They appreciate the untypical questions. They appreciate it when sales people go beyond surface level contextual business questions, ask them for their point of view, or their experience on a particular topic or issue. And they reciprocate in kind – and build equal business stature in the process.
Here are my 3 tips for developing curiosity in sales people, that you as CEO or Sales Leader can influence.
PURPOSE: What do your sales people think their job is? To hit quota? Sell stuff?
If this is what you’ve told them, you can’t be surprised that they treat your customers in a transactional manner – and you’ll probably find that your sales cycles are long and that not enough opportunities end in wins. The executives who lead world class sales organizations make it clear that their salespeople’s purpose is to measurably improve their customers’ business and personal condition. In making this distinction, sales people automatically go beyond trite “me too” questions and conversations and focus on jointly building a “case for change” and assessing if their is a good fit between your clients and your business.
BUILDING A CASE FOR CHANGE: Once your sales people become clear on their purpose, you’ll find them naturally moving from conversations focused on “why choose us” to co-creating a case for change with your customers – “why change and why now.” They’ll be more interested to understand how customers do business today, what works, what doesn’t, what good work can be built on/expanded on, what needs to stop, what needs to start, what risks need mitigating in the future and more…
And they’ll be able to naturally guide the customer to articulating their business case (not your salesperson’s) – what success looks like, what they measure, what results they get today, what results they want in the future, in what time and what the $ value of that is…and does it make sense to change and hire you…or not (in which case your sales person can exit gracefully without investing too much time and resources).
THE PERSONAL WIN: It’s at this stage when your salesperson can truly differentiate themselves and your company from your competition because they’ve taken the time to build credibility and trust by having a very different conversation than the client is used to.
Human beings buy on emotion and back their decisions up with logic. Being curious allows your sales person to artfully uncover the case for doing business and then really make the other party feel heard and understood by asking for “the personal win.” What will the stakeholder have to gain as a result of buying from you? It’s in these answers where unshakeable relationships are created.
Being curious helps your salespeople make more sales, bigger deals, in a lot less time.
What will you do as a leader to exercise your salespeople’s curiosity muscle?
Click here to learn more: mattconway.redeyedesign.ca