Are You Teaching Sales to Create and Navigate Minefields?

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In marketing, we consider the triggers that we need to capture the minds of our consumers. We look at how we combine the three components of value from a Service Dominant Logic perspective, of course:

Three components of Value:

  1. Functional (Know): This is the practical side where we help solve problems, resolve issues, get projects done and accomplish tasks.
  2. Emotional (Feel): We make people feel better and find ways to support, energize and empower
  3. Social (Do): We help people find new meaning, new information and re-frame their situation

In transactional thinking, we dwell on the functional aspect and early in the sales process we put a price on the solution before we ever put a price on the problem. Value derived from Transactional or Goods Dominant Logic is price and risk sensitive. This approach is laden with danger. I would assume no matter how well the product/service functions, how good your handoffs are, we are inviting failure. When we only consider and address function, we enlist multiple people to create objections. Get the objections out on the table or start laying mines across the field in front of us. We are putting ourselves into negotiating a minefield. We create a minefield full of objections.Minefield

In our effort to negotiate that minefield, we create a social aspect or the doing part of the equation. We do this through the use of product and service trials. We may step it up a notch by offering money back guarantees to support the emotional side. We have most of our bases covered, right? Or do we? Premature use of the product before you address their emotional and social value points devastates the sales process. It turns into a transactional event, which you were trying to avoid.

We think because a customer called us or found us by Google search that they know what they want. Well, search is the keyword here and Google as good as they are cannot read the mind of the customer, only how they express it.

How would you navigate an unmarked landfill? With a mine sweeper, right? All we need is the right tool? I say that in jest because it is not the tool but it does lead us to the answer. It is the activity the mine sweeper does. It senses the mine? So the analogy is that we must explore and ask the questions to sense the activity of our customers? The use of questioning early in the sales process is important, but we will never counter all the reasons. We may never get to know all the reasons. It goes beyond our product and service to the activity that is derived from our product and service where Value in Use is determined. Actually if we start there, we may skip the minefield altogether.

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Republished with author's permission from original post.

Joseph Dager
Business901 is a firm specializing in bringing the continuous improvement process to the sales and marketing arena. He has authored the books the Lean Marketing House, Marketing with A3 and Marketing with PDCA. The Business901 Blog and Podcast includes many leading edge thinkers and has been featured numerous times for its contributions to the Bloomberg's Business Week Exchange.

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