In the world of business-to-business (B2B) selling, buyer’s fear is at an all-time high. With the current state of uncertainty, buyers are experiencing status-quo bias more than ever before. As a result, t your prospects and customers are inflating the risks and costs of your proposals, and discounting projected benefits.
In response, your sellers are trying harder than ever to “convince and control”, and your step-by-step sales process methods are likely driving this behavior. However, this approach is not working, and in fact, it can have the opposite effect.
The buyer can smell that you need the deal. The more you try to sell, the harder they dig in and resist the change. You can’t convince and control someone to say “Yes”, but you can influence them, and inspired value storytelling can help you do that. It’s not about selling at all costs; it’s about helping your buyer make a good purchase decision with no regrets.
So, amidst all this uncertainty, how do you change someone’s mind and get your buyer from “Do Nothing” to “Yes”? It starts with the heart. And what better way to influence the heart than leveraging inspired value storytelling?
Here are the three steps to use “heart” and inspired value storytelling to influence your buyer:
Step 1: Get Invited to Tell Your Story
Influence begins with an invitation. You can’t tell people what to do, but you can ask them what they think they should do. Authority does not give you influence. Instead, you need to plant a seed and find the right soil for it to grow in.
To receive an invitation, you need to knock and ask if they’d like to talk about a particular topic. Lead with what’s on the whiteboard – this is the whiteboard challenge. Is what you see as the challenges matching what’s on their whiteboard as one of the key challenges they need to solve? Why should they let you in? They need to know that you’re there to help, not to sell. You’re there to help and advise, not to demo and sell.
Step 2: Learn the True State of Their Heart
Before you can influence your buyer, you need to understand their point of view. You need to learn about the problems they think they’re solving, where they are in their journey, and what their typical day looks like. This is the diagnosis and discovery stage.
It’s important to understand what they REALLY want – the true outcome and value. This includes personal, organizational, and business value. They seek to be understood, so you need to show them that you understand them. Don’t ask questions and then try to convince them otherwise. Instead, ask questions to truly understand their point of view. Once you have a good understanding, get confirmation that they know you understand.
Step 3: Tug at Their Heartstrings
Once you’ve learned about their point of view, it’s time to tug at their heartstrings. You need to help them see the changes they need to make to attain the desired outcome. Confirm the personal, organizational, and business value they can achieve, and be transparent about the investment required and any risk factors involved. Find ways to mitigate risks and elevate rewards.
In conclusion, inspired value storytelling can be a powerful tool for B2B sellers in uncertain times. By understanding your buyer’s point of view, telling your story, and tugging at their heartstrings, you can influence them to make a good purchase decision with no regrets. Remember, it’s not about selling at all costs, but about helping your buyer achieve the outcomes they truly desire.