No one enjoys a technical lecture, unless you are in a university classroom earning your degree.
How many times have you engaged your company’s technical expert to enter your sales cycle, in order to seal the deal? How many times has your sales dialogue become a technical lecture?
There is one very important step you are overlooking, as a salesperson of worth.
Chances are, you shudder at the thought of asking one of your technical experts or sales engineers to demo. Fact of the matter is, you need to become part of the demo as well.
Stop relegating yourself to being a sideline player once the sales talk turns technical. That’s where you lose control of the sale.
Instead of marginalizing your technical expert and sales engineers, make them part of your overall sales process from start to finish. Once “they” understand what “your world” is all about, and vice versa, you create a provocative working relationship.
That single step is the start of collaboration.
Far too many sales demos go south because the sales person decides to tune out while the sales engineer takes over. That mis-step has cost you how many contracts? That mis-step is your sales mis-step.
Technical experts can’t help themselves. If you bring them in for a command performance, they want to make the best use of your time. Or so they think. They want to showcase their expertise, because they perceive that they are helping you make the sale.
That misperception creates demos which are a one-sided technical lecture instead of an engaging sales dialogue.
What really causes the sale to go south is when your customer also has brought in their technical expert to be part of that meeting. You know what happens next: your expert joins forces with their technical expert. Your sales process degenerates into a technical lecture discussing the relative merits of various, minute and esoteric features and benefits.
If you are involved in selling a product or platform with engineering and technical aspects, it is your obligation as a salesperson of worth to learn about those engineering and technical aspects. You needn’t become an expert (unless you want to!). However, the more you personally understand, the better able you are to ask solid questions of your customer before you get to the demo.
Accept your responsibility for understanding the left-brain aspects of the sales dialogue. Translate what you learned from your customer into what you need your sales engineer to accomplish during their demo. Otherwise, you two will continue to start off on two different pages!.
Incorporating this one collaborative step into your sales process will prevent your sales dialogue from turning into a one-sided technical lecture.
Your sales acumen will grow as will your confidence in your ability to understand formerly-daunting technical issues.
When you stop marginalizing your technical support, you cease to marginalize yourself as well. You create memorable sales dialogues in concert with your technical team.
This one step will eliminate technical lectures as the rate-limiting step in your sales process.
Babette Ten Haken started out her career as a scientist. Early on, she was asked to bring clarity to the chaos of stalemated conversations between engineers, sales, IT, quality, legal and marketing folks. She focuses on building collaborative, innovative and profitable teams who are focused on excellence in the hand-off of strategy for execution. Her Playbook on leadership and business strategies, including tools, Do YOU Mean Business? is available on Amazon.com.