What We Do Is Not Complicated–Yet We Have A Tendency To Complicate It.


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My friend, Andy Paul wrote a brilliant newsletter piece this weekend, entitled What We Do Is Not Complicated.  His newsletter struck a chord.

What we do isn’t complicated–yet somehow we tend to make it so–for ourselves, perhaps more importantly, for our customers.

At it’s core, selling is simply about:

  1. Find a customer that has a problem they want to solve, that we are the best in the world at solving.
  2. Help the customer understand how to best solve their problem, achieving the outcomes they want, demonstrating the superior value you create with them.
  3. Assure they achieve the desired outcomes.
  4. Start all over, executing again and again….

That’s really all selling is about.  But somehow, we make it much more complicated.

  1. We don’t understand the problems customers have and the consequences of not solving them.  So we have difficulty engaging the customer in talking about solving their problems.
  2. All we know is what our products do, but we can’t translate that into the context that is meaningful to the customer–the impact on their business, and why it’s important to them.
  3. Or we don’t connect effectively with the customer, we talk about what we are interested in (our company/products), failing to engage the customer in discussing what they are interested in.
  4. Since we don’t do 1, 2, or 3 well, it becomes the customer’s problem to do these things.  They struggle, because they may have never done this before, they struggle because they don’t know what things they should be looking at or the benefits they should realize in their specific situation.  Or they may struggle in the buying process, having difficulty aligning their own team in making a decision.  Or one of our competitors steps into this vacuum, helping the customer address these issues.
  5. We don’t understand our ICP, consequently we waste lots of time calling prospects we have no business calling.  We waste their time as well, developing a negative impression.
  6. We don’t help them build the business case to present to their management, gaining approval for the investment.
  7. We simply don’t demonstrate that we care–as Andy points out, we aren’t curious about the customer, their goals, and their concerns, we don’t show them, as a result, we never connect with customers in ways meaningful to them.
  8. We (or our marketing organization) make it even tougher.  We send out poorly worded, poorly targeted emails, we spend no time preparing for our prospecting calls, choosing instead to “shoot from the lip.”
  9. We manage our time poorly, choosing to be diverted by the urgent, rather than focusing on the important.
  10. Our companies, purposefully, or inadvertently, put hurdles in place, making it more difficult to develop and execute our sales strategies.
  11. and………….

I can go on and on……

Selling is not that difficult.  It’s about high impact conversations with people who care and want to be involved in those discussions.

We put so much in our way, or fail to do the work to create those high impact conversations, as a result, we make things far more difficult than they should be.

High performers protect themselves and their time viciously, minimizing these distractions.

It’s the mediocre and poor performers that use these distractions as a refuge to hide out, as excuses to their inability to perform.

Are you making selling more difficult than it need be?


Afterword, thanks Andy for the great idea!

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Dave Brock
Dave has spent his career developing high performance organizations. He worked in sales, marketing, and executive management capacities with IBM, Tektronix and Keithley Instruments. His consulting clients include companies in the semiconductor, aerospace, electronics, consumer products, computer, telecommunications, retailing, internet, software, professional and financial services industries.


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