What I learnt from Robot lawn mowers
Studies show that clients are increasingly knowledgeable about the products and services they purchase, with the result that over 60% of the sales cycle has been completed before they even contact any potential suppliers.
Some folks are debunking the myth that the sales cycle is nearly over before sales is involved, but interestingly the effect of getting out in front of the opportunity still applies. To read more about that read this article: Debunking the myth
Either way this changes the role of sales completely. Previously the salesperson would be perceived as the “expert” and would help the client frame the problem before suggesting a solution. Of course the role of the good salesperson was to frame the problem around their own solution. It’s one of the arts of sales.
But now clients have already made up their minds on what the success criteria are and use the salesperson to discuss pricing, implementation and logistics. This disempowers the role of sales completely.
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Today good salespeople need to be at the beginning of the sales cycle and the only way to be there is to have an online presence which enables clients to find them. Bizarrely many experienced sales people appear to resist the world of social media and building their online presence. This just makes the opportunity even better for those who embrace it. Make no mistake this is the future of sales, empowering the clients to find you.
Robot lawn mowers
A perfect example is Husqvarna. They make lots of fun devices, and recently I found myself looking at robotic lawnmowers. Husqvarna made a useful little video explaining the relative merits of these devices, and what to look for.
They managed to frame the issues around robot lawn mowers it a way that made sense, and it’s human nature to believe the first explanation as fact, and other later ideas as to be judged by the first.
Now I’ve not actually looked at the specific products Husqvarna make*, but I have a sneaking suspicion that what they manufacturer just happens to fill the set of success criteria they laid out.
*There's little point, I live in Texas. My lawn goes from green and patchy to burnt and patchy, to burnt to a crisp every year.
But of course
I can hear you saying, well of course they have, that’s obvious. Well my question to you is. Do you have materials for your potential clients laying out the success criteria for the problems you solve?
If you do then please put a link to them in the comments. If you don’t then I suspect it’s time to start thinking. Just sitting back and thinking that's the manufacturers job or your employers problem. You're right it is their problem, but it's also yours. As individuals we need to take responsibility for our own success.
I spend a lot of my time with clients talking about business models. Sometimes I take some time off to watch videos about lawn mowers. It’s funny how they connect. If you’d like to discuss business models, lawn mowers, or anything else do feel free to get in touch.
About the Author: Simon Dudley
Simon is a contrarian. He makes a habit of being the guy who questions the orthodoxy, the guy who doesn’t believe it just because the good and the great said it’s true. This has not always been good for his ascent up the corporate greasy pole. However it’s been very good for his employers if they are prepared to listen.
The Book The End of Certainty "How to thrive when playing by the rules is a losing strategy" explains why groupthink and the doing what you’ve always done is no longer the right move.
To keep tabs on his work please follow him on: ExcessionEvent.com