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You’ll win if you play by THEIR rules

You need to understand individual prospects’ buying process or you might be using Monopoly rules when they’re playing Yahtzee.
Both games

  • HAVE rules but not the same rules!
  • start with a roll of the dice… yet what happens next is VERY different.
  • are games, with all players working to win.
  • interestingly (at least to me), there are 8 pages on how to play both games YET the complexity of the instructions is wildly different.*

When looking at when a deal will close, our Monopoly rules are all about making it happen… this month, this quarter, this year, for the next commission check.
Their timeframe, Yahtzee could be about budget, where what you sell fits into a larger project, other priorities in their business.
The timeframe when viewed from this perspective becomes OUR game rules vs. THEIRS.
Now some of you are saying “but part of my job is creating urgency.” I don’t deny that REMINDING your prospects and customers of their reasons and their timeframe is critical to sales success. As well as sharing information (that they may not know YET is critical for their success) about what the benefits of moving forward now vs. waiting would be FOR THEM.
When selling to corporations, small businesses, any kind of organization actually – they have a way they make purchases. In my over 25-year sales career, I’ve never CHANGED the way someone else bought.
This is a place where non-process-driven salespeople (dare I say that is MOST salespeople) are playing by Monopoly rules while their prospects and customers are following Yahtzee’s.
Why? Typically, they never bothered to ask any questions about the game or its rules to begin with. In fact, I’ve been in big deal reviews where the salesperson has never talked about how the purchase will be made… you know the actual mechanics of ordering.
For this section the – BUT WAIT THERE’S MORE – part is that the people who buy from you, probably have ways they get around their own process, when it suits them.  
Those are their organization’s exceptions; the I before E except after C… right turn on red… alternate rules they follow to get things done. Never mistake the exceptions for the rules.
So yes I’m saying as the salesperson you need to not only understand THEIR rules – you also will be more successful if you understand the exceptions too.
The better you are at understanding what rules your prospects and customers operate within (and get around), the more likely you will be to win their business.
Remember… it’s always about them,
* I couldn’t make you go looking for the rules… since I already did!

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