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Strategies for Salespeople to Share Content to Set the Buying Vision

Posted by Cliff Pollan on 23, Sep, 2012

More often than not, the salesperson who helps a buyer see the way to achieving a greater outcome than sticking with the status quo is the salesperson who wins the business. In fact, according to Forrester Research, 65% of the time a potential client will buy from the salesperson who sets his buying vision.

In presenting a point of view to a prospect, sales reps often share information. A question for many is how much info to share with a prospective client and when to share it.

texas-holdemOne strategy for presenting information to set the buying vision can be compared to the very popular poker game, Texas Hold’em. In this card game, players typically make single bets after each card is shown. Eventually, one card player might sense an opportunity and go all in, placing all of her chips on the table because she believes her hand will win against all others. This forces everyone else to fold or match her bet.

Here’s how I connect this card playing metaphor to a content sharing strategy for salespeople to aid in setting the buying vision:

  • Situation 1: When your prospect doesn’t yet know he has a problem, share information deliberately, one card at a time.
  • Situation 2: When your prospect realizes he has a problem and is considering taking action, go all in laying down all of your cards.

Building Awareness of a Better Outcome

In the first situation, ignorance is bliss and the prospect is in learning mode. He’s very busy and craves simple. In content sharing terms, simple means sharing a single piece of content. For example, one really good article that talks about why not taking action has negative consequences–like why not addressing energy efficiency in a data center causes significant issues beyond cost. If your prospect shows interest by reading this article, then you can suggest other related educational content. You begin to set the buying vision, one card and single bet at a time. Jill Konrath has a wonderful concept  TMTQ (Too Much Too Quick).  Read it here.

Creating Confidence in Your Solution

In Situation 2, the buyer already knows he has a problem and is actively seeking solutions. This is your chance to show him a complete path to success. Yes, describe your solution, but also provide information on other options he might consider as alternatives. Present likely outcomes and what it’s like to do business with you. Your goal here is to impress him by providing the relevant information in an organized fashion to enable him to quickly and confidently make a decision. In this case, your information helps him see you as the “right” partner. Knowing what he reads gives you insights to enrich your conversations and openly address any concerns. Just as Texas Hold’em is played with 7 cards, restrict your all-in information sharing to 7 or fewer pieces of content.

Determine your prospect’s concerns and bring content addressing them to the table–share the right content in the right context. It’s not always easy to assess when less is more. When in doubt, share only what matters to avoid overwhelming. Be poised for when the opportunity is ripe to go all-in.

How are you using content in your sales process?

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