Why A Regular Sales Approach Doesn’t Work

Many entrepreneurs are fully invested in their creation – much like a mother with a newborn baby.

They want to show off how great their product is. This can create some problems when a entrepreneur enters the sales process.

If an entrepreneur shares too much enthusiasm when meeting with a potential customer it can actually be off putting to them.

It might even prevent a sale.

As entrepreneurs we need to take a step back and accept that people may not be able to see how great our products are right off the bat. We need a sales process that looks for the intersections of value between our product’s benefits and our customer’s business needs.  
I will show you how to implement such a process so you can improve your own sales.


Figuring Out Your Target Customer and Target Market

The first step of this process is identifying your target market and your target customer.

Getting clear on these will improve two aspects of your business giving structure and focus to your marketing efforts.

Identifying your target market will help you develop the type of language, lingo, and culture you will need to better relate to your customers.

Identifying your target customer will help you better understand the types of problems this customer faces, and allows you to understand the nature of their decision making.

To figure out who your target market is, you want to think about where your product will be seen as most valuable. What specific industries would your product be valuable in?

Write down your product benefits on a list, and the problems that it can solve. Then think of industries that have these issues.

When you are working to identify your target customer you want to think about the type of company that will need your product. What types of problems does your ideal customer have? What would they like to achieve? Where would you be able to position your product in relation to their problems?

Ask yourself these questions and write down the answers. Also ask yourself who is the decision maker at these companies who can say “yes” to your offer. Researching on LinkedIn can reveal a lot of information about people’s job functions.

This may give you an idea of where the decision maker might be in the structure of the company. This will help you form a specific idea of how you can approach prospective customers.

Approaching A Customer And Preparing For A Meeting

When approaching a customer cold whether it be in person or in a cold email you want to establish your value. You want to frame your value through the problem you solve for your market. Use the template sentence below to help.

Of course customize it to sound authentic and fit your needs.

Hi I am _____ (name), I help businesses in the _____ (industry) achieve ______________ (write down the result you will help them achieve).

Once you have established your value and your customer is interested in a conversation with you, ask them for a meeting to discuss further.

Before the meeting you want to ask yourself the following question:

What are the problems this business is having that are not coming to surface?

What are they trying to achieve right now? What are the current processes they are using?

You want to answer as many of these questions to yourself before the meeting, but if you don’t know the answers, ask them at the meeting.

The Meeting

When you decide to meet your client, your aim is to secure a ‘next steps’ action. It may prove not to be a great fit but that doesn’t mean you can’t have a great and productive meeting.

You want the conversation to be cordial and to be business minded.

This is not a product demo, and you are not trying to make a sale here.

You are working towards figuring out this businesses problem and if it makes sense, position your product as a solution.

Ask questions about their business processes, really dig in there. Bring up special insights you might have with regards to their problems or how they could better improve their processes.

You really want to create an atmosphere of collaboration at this meeting and not one of a hard sell.

At the end of the meeting do your best to create next steps and an action plan that should either be focused on meeting the next decision maker in the process or closing the deal.

This should be an ongoing process so don’t be impatient, just try it and see what results follow. Using this sales process will allow you to get more sales and build a better reputation for your product and service at launch time.  

Action Steps

  1. Research your target market to figure out what industry your product is most valuable in.
  2. Develop an ideal target customer to make it easier to target companies in your market and tailor your sales approach.
  3. Approach your customer with a results oriented value message, base yours off the template provided.
  4. Set up a meeting then prepare by thinking about the goals and problems of your customer.
  5. Meet your client, work together to come to a solution that involves your product.
  6. Schedule a next steps meeting with the next decision maker in the process.


Result You Will Achieve

A non-intimidating sales process that works with customers in a collaborative way to improve your sales for a product launch.

Mentor: Jill Konrath

Jill Konrath is a sales strategist at Jill Konrath, Inc., she is also speaker and the author of the sales books Selling to Big Companies and SNAP Selling.

This article is based on an EHQ interview with the mentor.