Insight In Selling: Power To Change

Insight in selling is a fascinating and powerful way of effecting change.

Have you ever metaphorically held your prospect's hand, walked them along the education pathway, gotten them close to the sale of adopting your product or service, only to have a competitor swoop in at the last minute and take the order away?

Or have you done this to someone else?

I've been on both sides of the equation. Often accidentally. For years I wondered what the problem was. Especially on the warm-up side, what the heck went wrong?

Why did that prospective customer drop me so quickly? After all the help I'd provided...

insight lit light bulb customer delight emotional buy-in

Image by Arek Socha from Pixabay

The Power of Insight In Selling

Two things are going on here:

First, there's a covert contract. Covert means hidden, and we all know a contract is an agreement. So what's the hidden agreement in warm-up sequences?

"I'll help you," says the salesperson. "Let me educate you about this. Here's the definition of the problem. You probably hadn't seen it clearly defined before we got here, had you. And here's our solution. See that? See all those bells and whistles? Aren't they great? You should buy our solution."

So where's the covert contract? I'll show you what's going on here, and you'll repay me by buying our solution.

This is what the salesperson understands...but the prospect? That's another story.

Truth is, that prospect owes you nothing.

You showed up, and you gave.


That doesn't entitle you to a sale.

Second thing going on...it turns out that, emotionally speaking, warm-up education series are pretty weak.

I wish they weren't. But that's how this particular cookie has crumbled over the years.

So in these warm-up situations, you've got a covert contract going on in which the salesperson believes since they've been nice and shared with and educated the prospect, they deserve that order when the time comes. And the prospect? Well, they're simply not that into you.

Naturally, they're eager to learn. Aren't we all.

But that counts for nothing when it's time for the money decision to be made.

And let's keep in mind that, mostly, all you've done is clear up the nature of the problem a little for them plus lather on the features and benefits of your own solution.

And this is what allows Captain Insight of Vendor Number Two swoop in and take the sale away.

You never had the sale in the first place.

The Question of Insight In Selling

This leads to the question you should be asking:

What IS insight?

This is the flash of recognition, the instant emotional buy-in, the "OMG I HAVE TO HAVE IT" moment striking that prospect so thoroughly that their perspective on the subject matter is changed forever. And they remember exactly who gave them that insight. This is instant and emotional.

Insight is an incredibly valuable tool you can make mechanical use of. Conceptually it comes out of The Challenger Sale. I've been using the Challenger approach for the past couple years—after resisting it for a long time because of the name. I thought it was confrontational. But it turns out many of the consultative techniques fit in very well with the Challenger approach.

The insight has to matter to that prospect.

You've heard me say, "If they say it, it's true; if you say it, you have to defend it." That applies here. So you care about the 67 doohickeys and whistles that make up the features of your product or service. Your prospect does not. That's not insight.

Keep looking.

They have to care about it.

That's your first clue.

>> Want help discovering insights you can use in your sales process? Book a time to talk with Jason by clicking here. <<


David Brock On Change: Interview with Jason Kanigan

David Brock On Change

David Brock On Change In Business Strategy

I spoke with David Brock on change: specifically about generating and training client organizations to tackle change. Dave calls himself a business strategy consultant and as a principle of Partners In Excellence he's had many years of experience with large multinational firms.

When working with clients, Dave shares a huge issue: they often want to switch strategies when there isn't an immediate result to the change. They must own the execution piece of the shift. And, not surprisingly, the "Why" has to be big for the client to energize with the change.

The disconnect I've noticed between the top level executive looking at a quota or financial performance sheet and the activities of their front line salespeople is echoed in Dave's experience. By scheduling time for top officers to spend with clients and sales ridealongs, their knowledge of what's really going on can be quickly increased. Brock's example of the Japanese CEO who had not seen a customer in nine months except by accident was shocking.

Additionally, David talks about sales managers lacking organizational measurement tools to understand key drivers of performance. Watching lagging indicators, like revenue, is dangerous because by the time you realize there's a problem, it is often too late to do something about it. Leading indicators must be identified to ensure the right activities are being done. For instance, if we simply increase the number of dials salespeople are making, we could find ourselves merely having more bad conversations.

Towards the conclusion of our conversation, Dave and I discuss channel partner sales. This is an option for answering the question, "How do we get to market?", and a rare opportunity to discuss the channel method with a knowledgeable guest.

Listen to the full interview with David Brock on change right here:


or to download Click here

If you missed the previous discussions here about articles by David Brock, expanding on the topics of what the core principles of selling are and understanding your numbers, you can see them here and here.

>> Did this audio interview raise any questions for you? Comment below to let us know! Also, please Like or Share to get this content in front of someone you know it could help. <<