Tuesday, January 15, 2013

SaaS Selling Secret - Breaking Old, And Maybe, Bad Habits

We are creatures of habit, and truer words have never been spoken. And this wonderful attribute of humanity is also one of its most complex to break.

As we head to our local fitness center, you have undoubtedly witnessed an increase in the number of its attendees! Notice this and embrace it because this real-life scenario is what we need to start talking about... Breaking habits!

In the scheme of things, most people will talk about changing the way they eat, and demand of themselves more exercise. However, when the work day is done, they don't actually stop to get up from the couch. They stay motionless, turn on the TV and eat a snack, which leads to dinner, which leads to more TV, which leads to another snack, which leads to sleep, which leads to repeat-this-the-next-day! It is very hard to move a body not in motion (and the people that tell you they're too busy are the first to talk about the "shows" they watch - yeah right... Exactly).

So these habits are the same for our work-life too! We get into a motion, we are set with our processes and we stick to them - we love them! We defend what we know as the "best we can do right now". Well, it may be, but may not be, but could it be that sitting on the couch and eating chips watching TV isn't that great for you either? 

Herein lies the dilemma for the lowly SaaS sales rep... You aren't just selling software! No, you are selling a bad-habit-busting-solution! You selling a daily process change, a model by which work-life improves (like the health of an individual stuck on the couch, who starts going to the gym). But just like my buddy NOT GOING TO THE GYM you've got some convincing to do. And how do you do this? Ah... The secret... 

There are three steps to making an impact on breaking the bad-habit-cycle...
  1. Trust! Your prospect needs to believe that you can help them! And to get to this point, you need them to vocalize that they understand your ONE KEY value-prop that is important to them. So easy for someone to say that they see the benefits of what you say is important, but if they aren't communicating this back to you, forget it! You need to hear from them, and they need to repeat it several times during your sales call. I call this an anchor statement! 
  2. A win in three months from now! Your solution may be so process-oriented that ROI is hard to come by, but that's OK. As long as your prospect can believe some kind of light at the end of the tunnel, that's good! Think of my buddy on the couch. If I tell him he'll be happier at work, sexier with the ladies and full of energy in a year from now, do you think he'll be interested? No! He wants quick results, so I sell him some crossfit program, and talk about the results in three months. People need to see quick wins, not some huge win. Those that promise the moon, get nothing but atmospheric dust. You need to promise 15,000 feet, and actually get there! 
  3. Developing the internal champion! People REALLY want to believe you! However, no matter what you say or do will convince them. They need to believe it (related to the first point) and internalize the change. This is the most difficult to help people find - their internal champion. Your words, ideas, pictures, demonstration and proposal are clues to help the internal champion emerge. But ultimately this is their call. You are just helping them develop the potential to find the internal champion. Keep checking in, and help them seek this mental angel! 

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