When life gives you lemons, Focus on Actions and What You Can Control
Updated: Sep 3
In this economic environment, most of my conversations with customers are about becoming more efficient with their budget and resources. Obviously, this is not an ideal time to discuss growth and purchasing more solutions.
That being said, I have decided to embrace the famous quote: “When life gives you lemons, add some gin and tonic”, and found 3 tactics to uncover opportunities to grow existing accounts:
1. Keep your friends close and your customers closer
When customers lead with a clear message that they will not be growing and will instead be focusing on reducing any non-survival cost they will most likely not expand and not buy anything from you. Sometimes it can be extremely demotivating and might lead to detachment from your end. I found that doing the opposite and keeping them closer is more successful: more “touch-up” points with value such as: updating them on new features, upcoming price changes, and relevant events might change their resentment. People like to feel desired, sought after and cared for. When you keep your customers close and provide them this feeling, then you pave the way from being just “another vendor that tries to sell”, to being a “trusted advisor who’s with me in good times and challenging times”.
2. Multithreading is the key
The more people you know from your customer's buying committee, the better. Each key stakeholder has different KPIs to achieve and having these insights in advance will help you build a better business case to justify the potential purchase of your product once the time is right. In my case, I sell a product that is mostly used by sales reps. However, there are many other key stakeholders that are involved with the decision to purchase the product, like: procurement, finance, IT. You want to make sure that you are in touch with all those that are involved in your deal because then you "walk the talk" of being a trusted advisor who invests time in building relationships with all the relevant personas for the deal and not just a "touch-and-go" sales rep.
3. Frame your values in harmony with their needs
We all know storytelling is the key to every message we want to articulate. Nevertheless, sometimes when we are under the stress of quota and meeting targets, we might focus on specific features instead of the value of our solution. When we keep our customers close and multithread properly, we can frame the value of the product/solution that we want to sell in a way that will align with each key stakeholder’s focus and needs. When I build relationships with decision makers, I manage to receive a 360 degree perspective and a thorough understanding of how each decision maker perceives the product and what elements are most important for them (features, price, integration capabilities etc.)
My 2 cents moving forward
I’ve found that when I focus on actions I can control, it makes it easier for me to cope with external events that I don’t have any control over. Also, when we focus on "doing" and increasing "touch-up" points with our customers, we immediately increase the chances to unlock a new opportunity for a potential sell.