I’ll wager that the last truly great idea you followed through with bore fruit. This article outlines a sales strategy necessary to repeat your successes. In addition, you can download the Thought Leadership Guide today. Then determine if your next idea is good enough to win the sale.

 

With the Thought Leadership Guide you will:

 

  • Understand if your insights are provocative and visionary
  • Determine if you are relevant and timely to your specific Buyer
  • Sufficiently addresses the unique needs of your Buyer

 

 

Insight Arrives Through Experience and Observation

I’ve heard it said, “It takes years to become an overnight success.” The ingenuity you provide your customers requires steady research and experience. What you learn is then tempered with a vision. Your good ideas are organized into meaningful foresight. These 4 steps provide discipline to this process. These steps help you create value propositions and close deals.

 

thought leadership

 

1. Gain a Full Understanding of Your Buyer’s Problem:

 

  • Internal buyer influences. Ask your buyer a few questions. Within their company, what strategic guidance are they adhering to? What political challenges do they face? On a personal level, what fears and goals are top of mind?
  • External challenges. What are the demands of the consumers of the Buyer’s product? How does that affect the solution you provide?
  • Compelling events. These events are what put the Buyer into the market. They are caused by market trends. They are usually caused by specific events outside the control of your Buyer.
  • Objectives/metrics. You need to know what success looks like to the Buyer. What specific objectives do they have? Understand what they value most on both the personal and company level.

 

2. Uncover New Insights:

 

  • Your company’s key messages. Speak to the Buyer on two levels. On the corporate level. Show how you solve problems in the workplace. Then speak on the personal level. Demonstrate how you can advance their careers.
  • Your market insights. Recognize what the market demands of them. Understand the competitive landscape. Show them what good is. Anticipate a changing future and provide the tools to flourish when it comes.
  • Your leadership position. Trend spotting and experience make you a leader. Trends are important. But your experience will provide a realistic perspective.
  • Your past performance (for them or another client). Understand the advantages of your customer service. Be the expert on the unique advantages your products have.

     

3. Select the Solution Options That Best Suit Your Buyer:

 

  • Cumulative insights. The key is to balance short term tactics with long term strategy. Most Buyers need quick wins to temper management expectations. Then attaining the long term strategy becomes more believable. The wait becomes acceptable. Key stakeholders are more likely to be patient for the long term. In the process you add value to your Buyer immediately.
  • Forecasted benefits. There are primary and secondary benefits. Focus on the primary but don’t ignore the other benefits. Knowing all the benefits helps preserve the value of your product. Value justifies higher price points.

     

4. Present Your Thought Leadership to Your Buyer:

You have a brilliant solution but can still fumble on the one yard line. Don’t take this step lightly. When you present your idea, start with the solution. Then back it up with your insights. In “Speaking PowerPoint,” Bruce R. Gabrielle provides valuable guidance for presentation creation. Consider these two things:

 

Gabrielle explains the “above water argument.” You should first develop your strong argument with a few critical support points. This is what Buyers will remember and what they will talk about with others. This provides context to the rest of your discussion. The Buyer starts to look for evidence within the context you started with. You have prejudiced their mind and thus improved your ability to convince.

 

Using graphics gives you what he calls the “picture-superiority effect.” Graphically rich presentations are more pleasing than text-heavy ones. In other words, graphically pleasing slides will persuade your audience most effectively.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Dan Bernoske

Go-to Market Innovator
Learn more about Dan Bernoske >

Prior to SBI, Dan held business development, sales, and product management leadership positions at several start-up companies, developing Apple iOS platforms and E-Commerce-based social networks. Most notably, Dan was co-founder of Video Lantern, an online video advertising sales and operations firm. He is Six Sigma certified from GE.

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