Selling is not about relationships. What?
Matthew Dixon and Brent Adamson wrote a groundbreaking article a few years ago titled, “Selling Is Not About Relationships.”(http://blogs.hbr.org/2011/09/selling-is-not-about-relatio/)
I was a little floored when seeing the title of the article. However, after reading the article and their book, The Challenger Sale, I agree with their stance.
The focus of their research and writing is that it’s not enough to build relationships. The Challenger sales model is built around being able to teach, tailor, and take control of the sale.
Selling in startup environments isn’t easy. You have to somehow prove that your less known solution is the best fit for your prospects. This takes more than building a relationship. Following this “Challenger” mentality in the startup environment can help push prospects to make the less safe buying decision.
Is your startup developing a new market or launching a groundbreaking new product or service? Great, challenge your prospects about why they need this new product or service.
Is your startup disrupting an established market? Great, challenge your prospects on the unique value that your product or service delivers.
Start statements with phrases like:
- What we’ve found
- As I talk with dozens of other companies in your space weekly
- When working with a similar organization
Your prospects yearn to have the conversations that you have with their peers. You connect with the folks that they would love to learn from and network with daily. Make this known to them. You are a wealth of knowledge and need to teach them things that only your experiences can bring.