From value leader Bill Liebler (one of our Enterprise Value Collective Founding Members)
The age-old saying “curiosity killed the cat; satisfaction brought him back” may not seem directly related to the world of sales, but upon closer examination, it holds valuable insights. In the realm of business development and sales, could it be that a lack of curiosity leads to unsatisfactory results when deals fall through? This article delves into the idea that curiosity can be a powerful tool for sales professionals and explores how it can lead to more successful value selling.
The Power of Curiosity
When tasked with preparing an enablement session on Value Selling for a group of Business Development Representatives (BDRs), many elements could have been considered. However, it became evident that the cornerstone of success in this area was curiosity. Curiosity is not just a trait exclusive to humans; it’s something we share with various mammals, including cats and dogs. While we may not hear about too many curious cats meeting unfortunate ends, the sales world is filled with examples of deals that didn’t progress due to a lack of curiosity.
Two Curiosity Guidelines for Success
To drive the message home with the BDRs, two taglines were introduced:
#1 – Curiosity Builds Connections: The notion that people buy from people is evolving, especially in today’s digital age where prospects conduct extensive research before engaging with vendors. However, the crucial factor is the connection between the sales representative and the prospect. This connection is forged when the salesperson demonstrates a genuine interest in the prospect’s business, seeks to understand their “why buy” motivations, and exhibits curiosity in learning about their needs. People buy from sales teams they connect with, and this connection hinges on the team’s curiosity about the prospect.
#2 – Informed Curiosity Wins Deals: To succeed, sales teams, including reps, solution consultants, and value sales resources, must be genuinely curious and prepared for every customer interaction. This entails researching the prospect’s website to gain insights into their operations and positioning. It means staying updated on news and events related to the prospect, such as new executive hires, funding rounds, acquisitions, and industry trends. Being informed takes the connection from the first tagline to a deeper level, allowing for more meaningful discussions and demonstrating the seriousness of your commitment to understanding the prospect’s needs.
Being informed allows sales teams to offer valuable insights that the prospect may not have considered, highlighting the potential business impact of their solution. This informed curiosity not only leads to more closed opportunities but also builds trust with the prospect. It shows that you’ve done your homework, you’re dedicated to their success, and you genuinely care about their business and industry.
While true value selling involves various strategies and techniques, curiosity plays a pivotal role in building connections, performing better discovery and winning more deals.
By cultivating a genuine curiosity about your prospects and staying informed about their industry and specific needs, you can differentiate yourself as a sales professional who genuinely cares. In doing so, you’ll be better equipped to build stronger connections and close more deals.
Curiosity, leveraged for connections and discovery, is a winning combination in the world of sales. So, embrace your curiosity and become the connected, informed seller that generates more opportunities and wins more deals, one connection at a time.
Checkout more from Bill Liebler in our Value Coffee Talk interview here: https://geniusdrive.com/episode-12-the-language-of-value-for-sales-success/