Trending This Week: Thinking Beyond Buzzwords
June 22, 2018
Think about the last sales call you made. Did you use words like disruptive, best-in-class, or intuitive? For most sales pros, buzzwords are standard lingo. But do these verbal shortcuts actually make it easier for prospects to understand our value? Or do we subconsciously use business jargon to make prospects think we’re experts when we can’t or won’t address meaningful details head on?
Buzzwords are ubiquitous by nature and get misused to the point that people don’t understand what they mean anymore. If we throw out a term like “disruptive innovation,” do we really mean that our solution completely displaces the current way of doing things? Is our new product enhancement going to change our industry in the way that on-demand streaming disrupted the entertainment industry? Even if our product is the most innovative, calling it a “disruptive innovation” does it a disservice. Especially when you can explain, in detail, how your product will specifically make life easier for your prospect.
So the next time you are about to use a buzzword during a sales call, dig deeper for specifics. Instead of saying your product is “best in class,” explain how your product is superior as it relates to the situation at hand. Instead of saying your product is “intuitive,” explain what, exactly, makes it easier to use than the alternatives.
Check out this week’s trending sales content for a perspective on what savvy B2B buyers really think about sales buzzwords. You’ll also learn how to ask the right questions in the right order, plus discover new ways to create urgency around those stalled deals in your pipeline.
What Sales Pros Were Reading and Sharing This Week
This list from Rob Steffens includes 25 buzzwords common to the B2B sales process. The post is directed at B2B buyers, and that’s a good thing because it helps sales pros understand how buzzwords are perceived by savvy buyers. Read the list to see which buzzwords are standard in your sales vocabulary and so you can take a buzzsaw to them and replace them with more specific, more meaningful, more valuable dialogue.
The right questions are essential to the B2B sales process. That’s why we spend so much time developing a set of questions to help engage customers in a conversation, identify customer needs, elicit a specific response, demonstrate value, and move the discussion forward. But are we asking the right questions in the right order? In this post, Brent Adamson highlights how active listening can help you ensure that your next question is exactly what’s needed to drive the deal forward.
In this post, Ken Kupchik highlights how we can create a sense of urgency from the very beginning of the sales process. According to Kupchik, a sense of urgency can be sustained throughout the process by moving up follow-up dates, refocusing on the problem the prospect is trying to solve, offering an incentive with an end date, and lowering the barrier to get started. Check out the post for tips on using a sense of urgency to close deals faster.
John Rampton reveals 12 ways that the B2B sales process doesn’t put prospects first. Is your meeting schedule process prospect-friendly? Do you exhibit characteristics during sales calls which alienate your prospects? Are you stuck in a rut with your sales approach? Check out the full list to see if your sales process is sabotaging your chances of success.
In this post, Anthony Iannarino is not actually suggesting that we start fights. To the contrary, he provides this list to help us identify situations in which we may be unwittingly causing conflict with prospects and peers. While some of these are obvious -- personal attacks, public humiliation -- we are all likely guilty of some shades of these behaviors. An enlightening read for anyone looking to avoid negative conflict.
This thought-provoking video by Jill Konrath which challenges us to consider our preconceptions about who can succeed in sales. Konrath asks, “If research showed that sales was 100% a learned skill, how would that impact your perception of your own success -- or lack of it -- today?”
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Photo: Chrissy W