No, this is not an article where you will get the ultimate recipe for success. Nor is it an article on weather forecast impact on sales. This is an article that deals with different approaches to sales and more as a topic to think about in the context of a professional selling.
The title is a metaphor, but it is not the so-called clickbait, I promise.
Social networks, especially business ones, are flooded with various contents, including contents intended for people who are engaged in sales. They are written by salespeople, consultants, coaches, marketing experts. What I notice is that almost everyone insists that the professional sales rep should solve problems with his solutions (products and / or services). On the other hand, a lot of articles literally humiliate the sales profession by constantly criticizing salespeople by identifying their attitudes, approaches and behaviors as the key problem.
Okay, let me put this mathematically.
Buyers problem + problematic sales rep = 2 problems
So, let me start by explaining my "solar" sales theory…
Every company has its ups and downs in its lifespan. It arises, develops, reaches a peak, and a peak does not always mean an idyll. Problems begin after a while, business begins to decline, problems accumulate, to a new point when the company begins to rise again and reaches some new heights.
In their life cycle, all companies and even the largest and currently most successful ones have experienced such scenarios. Well, that climax, it's the sun at its zenith on the brightest day. Noon! And then when the problems pile up, that is the quietest and darkest period of the night.
My sales experience, with short breaks, has been going on for 20 years or more (you won't believe it, but we coaches and consultants also sell). From that experience of mine, I learned that the attitudes of potential customers in these two endpoints of the business curve are as follows:
Noon: "We're doing so well right now that we just don't need it…"
Dark night: "We are in so much trouble that we cannot afford it right now... "
I have caricatured it a bit, but I’m sure you’ve experienced similar situations and variations on the same theme yourself.
And what is the reason for such attitudes?
What we all know is that at noon we shouldn't be exposed to the sun very much. Then the sun is "the most powerful" and it burns everything, so we end up with sour milk wraps. What I have learned from my experience is that at the zenith of business, people get a sense of power and the belief that the zenith of business will last forever. It is POWER that drives their behavior in relations with professional salespeople not to be constructive.
When the dark night comes and the problems accumulate, it is difficult to see the way out of the situation from the darkness. The sales rep is usually not seen as a lifeline in these situations but is perceived exclusively through the monetary value of the solution - COST. The night is deceptive, and the man is a "strange fruit". Solving a problem is difficult and, as if it is human nature, one will try to transfer the responsibility for solving the problem to someone else. This is the most challenging moment for the sales rep. If there is money, an attempt to transfer responsibility to the seller to solve the problem would almost certainly happen.
If someone hasn’t dealt with solving their problems, do you really think they’ll let someone they barely know to solve them without taking responsibility? WILL NOT!
If you implement a great solution that solves problems, and the client does not use it, or not using it the proper way, do you think he will take responsibility for the failure? WILL NOT!
Well then, when is the best time to sell?
The best time to sell is "before noon", when your customer's organization is on the rise, when it is developing and investing in development. Before noon, apply the approach for achieving your customer's goals and objectives, but also your sales goals, while achieving optimal results for both parties.
If the “noon” on your potential customer's watch has passed, then I recommend approach for preventing problems, before the business declines strongly, while achieving optimal results for both parties. When night falls, the problems are already there, and the financial ability is running out.
It is up to you, by doing your job professionally, to recognize situations in which each of the recommended approaches is adequate and apply them.
If someone asked me which of the approaches I would recommend, I could not name one, because each has its own application.
If someone asked me which one I like more, I would say it was the first one. Providing support to someone as he grows and develops always brings unique satisfaction with the work done.
Sales organizations development consultant