A bit of a provocative and disruptive statement that calls for an interesting conversation.

Let’s consider for a moment all the statistics floating around about buyers, and the knowledge they now have at their finger-tips about potential products. Anywhere from 48% to 79% of buyers already know what they want to buy because of their access via technology to these products.

If this is true, that effectively means that more than half of the sales conversations that are happening out there right now are redundant. And they’re redundant because salespeople are still following a sales methodology that is past its ‘use by date’. They are asking Situation questions, Problem questions and Implication questions, but hang on, doesn’t the buyer already know what they want to buy?

And leaders, does that mean you are spending resources on training your salespeople in an approach that is outdated. Try selling a cassette to someone who has an IPOD – nothing wrong with the cassette because at the time, that was the epitome of success. So, too, with SPIN selling methodology – fantastic grounding for salespeople in it’s day.

Now don’t get me wrong.

Understanding how to discover problems and the implications of those problems is key, and not dissimilar to the skills of a great executive coach, but what if you have a potential client who really doesn’t have a problem? They do exist, don’t they?

What if your potential client is quite happy with the status quo? How then does the salesperson react?  I mean, try asking an avid Apple user what problems he or she is having with the current model they are holding in their hand as they queue in the cold and the rain, the night before a new model is released – try speaking to them about the situation, the problems and the implications of their pocket friend.

What about the early adopter who buys without any convincing? How was SPIN rolled out in that super successful salesperson’s conversation?

Selling today is moving in a direction that is already sorting the wheat from the chaff.

Buyer expectations today have moved up a level yet again. The salesperson the buyer wants to work with today is not the hunter or the farmer. It is a new breed that shares 3 key attributes:

  • Conviction in how and why they back themselves and what they stand for
  • Context through which they are able to have conversations that are commercial, complete with relevant business acumen
  • Contribution where their Intention is to make the customer the hero in the story and contribute to the customer’s business growth

Having hosted a breakfast this morning at The Hilton in Melbourne with sales leaders across different industries, the topic  ‘Redefining the Sales Conversation’ was about making change happen as opposed to managing change because that is what we are all selling. Change! and it is clearly a topic that generated positive feedback, a topic for discussion and one in which I am passionate about.

YOU are the difference in the market place today – always have been and always will be. So, how do you, even more:

  • Own Your Value
  • Translate The Value Of Your Offering
  • Be Of Value To Your Market

Whilst we will not bury SPIN completely, we will give it a bit of a SPINE by adding some more modern components for the modern day buyer. Let’s put some:

  • Emotional intelligence,
  • Education,
  • Entertainment and some
  • Expertise into our approach to our market and then watch our numbers soar.

And for anyone who missed the breakfast and would like to have a one on one conversation with me around the direction of your sales approach or that of your team’s, please don’t hesitate to contact me and let’s connect.

What's your content to noise ratio?

Bernadette McClelland is an expert in B2B sales conversations that drive value and deliver multi-million dollar results. Contact her office now on 1300 935 226 or

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