Since 2002, Executive Mosaic has been the leader in connecting, informing, and educating executives through exclusive peer networking events and media properties. Executive Mosaic is the parent of the 4×24 Leadership program, Potomac Officers Club, ArchIntel, and Spectrum. It also executes the Wash 100, the award honoring the premier private and public sector leaders in the GovCon sector.
Dealing with the most influential people in government contracting has its own unique set of obstacles. Even after being the industry standard for years, you are still trying to engage executives who have little time and competing demands. It is up to the team at Executive Mosaic to continually develop the most impactful program for these executives. It is Colin Meade’s team who is responsible for engaging these executives and, in mere moments, distill and deliver this value.
I asked Colin to share the best sales advice he has ever received. According to Colin, “The best sales advice I ever received was to shut up. Listen to the customer. A good salesperson knows what they are selling inside and out and will let the prospect lead them to the sale through active listening. Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and remove all doubt”
Knowing your product inside and out is more than identifying the features. It is matching your features to the clients’ needs to showcase the benefits of your program. No two people hear your pitch the same; therefore, listening to the buyer gives you the ability to highlight the features of your product that align best with the buyer’s needs using the context of their problem. By leveraging their words, context, and issues, it makes it easier for the buyer to identify the value.
The groups that are most susceptible to featuring heavy pitches, without spending time listening to their customers are new sellers, owners, and product team members.
New sellers can typically feature me to death. What they lack are stories to help clarify the value of the product to the end buyer. People can relate and recall stories more naturally than remembering a feature of a specific product. It is better to train your sellers slowly on the features and drive home the benefits with stories and examples versus having the buyer know all the features. They will get more sales faster with the full sales cycle per feature versus all the features and the inability to tie the benefits.
Owners and product developers pride themselves on their product but fail to deliver the benefit to the end buyer. Because the product is their creation, it is apparent to them the value the product brings to the buyers. Odds are, everyone can use their product, but that is not the decision the buyers are making. They are deciding on the best value for their money and the best tool for the job, not if they could use it.
If you are a sales manager or owner, when working with your team, start by reviewing a solution. Provide the key selling points and the ecosystem information to understand where your solution fits in the market. After the team is comfortable with the product, spend time developing the situational context, detailing the problem, and discussing the outcome. Establish clientele with examples and real stories on how your product delivered answers. Not only will your sales increase, but your team will also feel more comfortable pitching clients.
Colin Meade manages the sales team for Executive Mosaic, plus he oversees the sales efforts for the ArchIntel Daily Intelligence service. Executive Mosaic produces the premiere networking events along with the staples in the GovCon Space, including GovConWire, ExecutiveGov, GovConExecutive, GovConExec, ExecutiveBiz. And PR services with Spectrum.