For our fifth and final sales play (see Storyboard Sales Play #1 – “Sphere of Influence,” Storyboard Sales Play #2 – “Stack Ranking,” Storyboard Sales Play #3 – “Market Intelligence,” Storyboard Sales Play #4 – “What Does the Emerald City Look Like?”), it’s time to switch gears and think about how you help people, not companies.
Let me tell you a story. I was keynoting a sales event for General Electric in Shanghai, China, and had dinner with the executive team that evening. I sat next to the CMO of a GE division and asked her, “Can you think of a great sales professional you’ve met in your life?” She told me a story about a sales professional for HPE in Singapore who ran the following sales plays:
Touch Point 1—invited her to a marketing event in Hong Kong that he recommended was a “need to go to” event
Touch Point 2—after that event, he built her a roadmap of 3x other marketing events in APAC that she should go to in order to further her marketing acumen
Touch Point 3 – continued to follow-up on her progress at the events and her key learnings
She said that whenever she needs a solution that HPE offers, this sales professional in Singapore is the 1st call she’ll make. This is adding value!
The goal here is to recognize that your prospective customers have a series of people who work within the organization. These people, just like you, are seeking career advice, help, networks, etc.
Consider how you can:
- Broker introductions?
- Let them know about new job opportunities?
- Give them invitations to events they may otherwise not have had access to?
- Provide them data that would benefit them personally in their careers (such as renegotiating their compensation)?
How can you help the person—not just the company?
After these five sales plays, if you’re not getting the engagement you were hoping for, ask yourself, “Should I keep hitting my head against the wall thinking it will get better, or should I focus on another buyer?”