AIDA – Attention (part 2)

Gaining prospects attention in the frantic chaotic sea of sales messages assaulting everyone every day is a daunting task. Companies that still believe gaining attention is a sales function has been left in yesterday year as front runners have shifted this responsibility to a marketing function.  

The reality in today’s marketplace is that there are not enough truly professional salespeople for the demand. I do not know of a single professional salesperson that has ever been at a want for a job. Today’s best salespeople have stepped out of the quagmire of fighting to generate attention from prospects who are truly NOT their customers.  

Most business leaders especially sales managers have a questionable belief that everyone could be their customer if they could just get the prospects attention long enough to create interest. That is just simply a false belief. Professional salespeople have one core fundamental understanding that makes them highly effective and successful. That understanding is “Most prospects are NOT their customers”.  

Those salespeople know that long before they will ever know that a prospect exists, that prospect already knows a good deal more about a product or service and the companies offering it than 90% of people would imagine. The prospects have already investigated 3-5 offerings in each market segment and in their mind, they have decided the one or two companies they would like to work with. Those prospects blow right by attempts to get their attention by all but those they have created a preference for in their mind. 

Prospects make these decisions based on many, mainly subconscious, criteria. Things like value propositions, features benefits and advantages, cost, and availably rarely are part of the equation. Factors like perceived culture and values, brand image and how it meshes with their self-image, and many other subjective and very personal beliefs form this initial brand preference. Understanding this and why it is a nearly insurmountable obstacle is key for a successful salesperson. Trying to sell to or through this obstacle is 100 times harder than selling against another product or service, the salesperson must somehow sell the prospect on the concept that their subconscious biases and their personal beliefs about a given brand, product or service. In situations like this the salesperson enters the situation at a disadvantage and in a nearly confrontational position if they insist on pushing against the prospects beliefs. Rather the highly successful salespeople quickly identify these situations and do not waste their most precious resource, time, trying to change someone’s mind.  

There are several other reasons why a salesperson may put a prospect in the “Not my customer” category. Do the customers values align? Does the customer simply want the lowest price? Are they looking for the best value? Do they see things from a synergy and partnership perspective? Are they proactive seeking and solving challenges before they become problems?  

As a sales professional, knowing intimately their own and their organizations values and uses those values to prioritize prospects, applying the Peretto principle two deep, and leveraging high value activities with high value, highly compatible prospects. 

Isn’t it time to Break your sales cycle and Disrupt your Sales? 

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