The Selfish Bastard

Here is a reprint from a recent post in one of my LinkedIn Groups by Kavin Williams National Sales Director at MCF.

“The reason why sales professionals, in your organization, continue to struggle with uncovering opportunities, and closing business, is because they are either unaware of The Selfish Bastard Rule or are unable to adhere to it. The same is true for the majority of chief sales executives, whose sales strategies are driven by nothing more than a wild guess; and sales managers, who offer nothing to their sales teams except a watchful eye over their shoulder.

The Selfish Bastard Rule has two parts: (1) Buyers prefer to buy outcomes, not solutions, offerings, or commodities; and (2) Decision-Makers, when possible, will act in their own interest over that of their employer.

Any disconnect that occurs between buyers and a sales professional is due to the fact that while buyers prefer to buy outcomes; sales professionals sell solutions, offerings, or commodities. Simply put, they are not buying what you’re selling! Instead, buyers are left to figure out which solution, offering, or commodity offers them the best possible chance to gain the outcome they are seeking to buy in the first place. As a result, business is normally awarded to prospective vendors by default.

Hint: If you are an inward looking sales professional, sales manager, or chief sales executive whose activities are driven by what your company or product is or does, instead of the outcomes you can deliver, you are relying on the relative incompetence of your competitors to win or grow your business.

Your best chance of enhancing your sales performance and growing your business lies in your ability to: • fully capture your prospects’ desired outcomes • communicate that your company was founded on, and continues to be driven by, delivering those specific outcomes to similar organizations • further communicate that your company developed whatever you’re selling, specifically to deliver the outcome your prospect is looking to buy In other words, sell outcomes.

All decision-makers are driven to make purchasing decisions based on their need to either gain a desired outcome or avoid an undesired one. It’s that simple. Hence, your mission to be a more effective sales professional, if you choose to accept it, is to lead with your prospects’ desired outcomes and position your company, its offerings, features, and benefits as a means to deliver it.

Adopting an outcome-based sales approach is not a departure from solution or consultative selling, but, rather, the next evolutionary step. Although it is a small step, it’s a significant one. When selling outcomes, it is critical that sales professionals make the distinction between the outcomes of the company being called upon and those of the actual decision-maker. While they will share desired outcomes, it is important to note that among the desired outcomes not shared by both, those of the decision-maker will often take precedence.

Finally understanding and adhering to The Selfish Bastard Rule is critical in enhancing the competencies of sales professionals at all levels. It also serves as an effective guide for chief sales executives, who wish to set a strategic direction that will grow their business and improve their market share, and sales managers who wish to be active in leading high performance sales teams.”

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