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The Danger of the Two Sales

The Danger of the Two Sales is a straightforward but not well-known marketing and sales problem that kills many new businesses.

Here's what happens to produce it:

Someone has a brainwave and makes a new product or service.

You see this all the time in the Software-as-a-Service world...but you'll also see it in products, such as a condiment.

Then the creator goes out and tries to sell the thing, and discovers nobody wants it.

"Why don't they understand how great this is?" they shout. After all, it's clear as day to them why people need whatever it is.

But the public, the target market, other people... everyone else just doesn't get it.

The now-frustrated creator gives up.

the danger of the two sales, unable to sell, positioning problem, marketing problem

Image by Steve Buissinne from Pixabay

Understanding What Causes The Danger Of The Two Sales

What happened here?

The new business owner, fired up with the enthusiasm for their innovative idea, has dangerously bypassed the first problem in sales and marketing...

...identifying a problem people admit they'll pay to have solved.

This is the first of The Two Sales. You must make this first sale, and it is best if that sale is implicitly understood by your prospective customer before you begin talking to them.

In other words, the first sale is that your prospect admits there is a serious problem to be solved: one that they will pay money to fix.

If you haven't achieved this, you run a great risk of having your "solution" sound unnecessary or, even worse, nonsense. You'll ever make a sale in this situation.

The second of The Two Sales is that YOU are the best provider of solutions for this problem.

Can you see how if you blindly try to rush past the first of The Two Sales, that your target market agrees there's an issue here worth solving in the first place, your prospect will blink at you in confusion when you try to show off "your baby"?

Making Use Of The Two Sales

You might be astonished how often this situation comes up. If you keep the Danger of the Two Sales in mind as you begin, though, you'll be able to make use of it.

As a for-instance, I pre-qualify prospective clients for people who already believe that a metrics-based approach is good. For them to already be demonstrating they value numbers because they're collecting their own data—and aren't afraid of math.

So many newbie business owners are afraid of a little math.

When I do talk to someone about our services, I know they're already on board with doing some math...that they speak the language of marketing and operations results. I do not have to risk falling into the situation of trying to sell someone who just isn't into numbers and probably never will be. What a frustrating experience that would be!

Do you see how this directs your marketing?

Your marketing is best deployed in filtering in those people who already believe as you do. Then you can talk to those who qualify—those you've made The First Sale to—further about the details of your amazing solution.

Of course there are situations where a new problem and a new solution are very real. But you'll still have to deal with The Two Sales: before you'll ever make a sale you'll have to educate and convince someone, or get them to agree, that there is a serious problem in this area. Then you can move on to you being the best solution provider.

Many, many businesses have died an early death because their founders did not understand The Danger of the Two Sales. I encourage you to not be one of those founders.

>> Jason Kanigan is a business strategist and conversion expert. To book a session to speak with Jason, click here. <<

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Choosing Your Sponsor Wisely for Sales Success

Choosing your sponsor wisely is even more important than I thought.

After 20+ years in the field I didn't expect to be surprised by anything in sales and project management. Peter Taylor's The Lazy Project Manager (not an affiliate link) has changed that.

The opening chapters of Peter's book have impressed upon me the significance of choosing your sponsor with care.

The question is not: "Can I make the sale?" It's: "How can I rig the game for success once we've made the sale?"

If you're a Hit And Run-type salesperson, I've probably lost you. But you'll find out quickly enough... throwing the ball down the field to the implementation team, without having set up the conditions for success, is a game plan for failure. The project team in charge of installing the solution may well improvise their way to a win but you sure have made it hard for them.

For those who care that what you sold is what gets delivered... Peter Taylor has described this key strategic element of the sale and execution in a way I haven't seen done before.

choosing your sponsor sales project management design
(Image by rawpixel from Pixabay)

The Impact Of Choosing Your Sponsor With Care

Whether we're in an academic setting and finding the right sponsor for our smallsat development project...

...or seeking the "buyer behind the buyer" who is the real executive customer up the food chain...

...having the right sponsor in place means the difference between having the support we need to achieve change -- or the unpleasant discovery that the project is doomed to fail (check out those percentages) because it lacks both intent and resources.

I spent most of 2016 working with a change management expert who only dealt with tech firms of 1000+ staff.

I saw how important getting the right sponsor in place was then, but my eyes and brain were focused more on operational issues of managing change. Looking back, he did a good job of what Peter Taylor recommends... and the results of his projects testified to his deliberate efforts up front.

Go get Peter's book. It'll chance the way you view sales as well as project management, and your success rates will rise if you implement his recommendations.

>> Jason Kanigan is a business strategist. Book a time to talk with Jason about your situation by clicking here. <<