4 Ways to Avoid Sales Obstacles When the Stakes Are High

by May 25, 2018Solution Selling0 comments

4 Ways to Avoid Sales Obstacles
Want to avoid sales obstacles customers throw in your way when the stakes are high?  The secret is to first prepare for the most common sales obstacles and then to put the customer in the driver’s seat.

The Three Most Common Sales Obstacles
Based upon responses from thousands of sales professionals and buyers, most sales obstacles can be categorized into 3 areas.

1. Lack of Perceived Need
This sales obstacle is encountered when the buyer does not think your product or solution is important enough or valuable enough for them to want it or to need it.  In this situation the buyer typically chooses to stick with the status quo or to invest time and resources into more pressing priorities.

2. Lack of Differentiation
This sales obstacle arises when the buyer cannot discern the difference between what you are offering and the other available alternatives in the marketplace.  When this happens, a sales conversation about value turns into a sales negotiation about price because the buyer thinks they can move forward without you.

3. Lack of Perceived Trust
While the buyer may believe that your product or solution is important enough and unique enough, they may not believe that you can deliver on your promise.  The lack of perceived trust creates skepticism and risk…an obstacle you must overcome with proof that you can deliver on your brand promise.

How to Put the Customer in the Driver’s Seat
Once you understand the three most common sales obstacles, it is time to keep the customer’s needs front and center.  Putting the customer in the driver’s seat does not mean ceding full control to your buyer.  It means:

  • Selling at the appropriate level
  • Understanding what the customer really wants and needs before you recommend any solutions
  • Aligning to the buyer’s (not your) decision making process
  • Helping the customer create the vision and calculate the value of what success looks like

These keys to avoid obstacles empower the customer so that there is little opportunity or reason for them to add any “buts” or real resistance as you progress through the sales cycle.

4 Ways to Avoid Sales Obstacles When the Stakes Are High
If you want to avoid sales obstacles, keep the customer’s needs front and center by:

1. Selling at the Appropriate Level
When you can work with the real buyer from the beginning, selling and adding value becomes much easier.  You don’t have to navigate from one player to another which saves both you and the customer time and frustration.  And decisions are made much more quickly because you are selling to someone who has the authority and resources to commit.

2. Understanding What the Customer Really Wants and Needs
When you have a thorough and complete understanding of what your customer wants and needs, you are able to put together a solution that fits them and their business. You need to ask the questions that will determine if you will be able to provide measurable value that would make a true difference.

The customer is the real expert here but you need to ferret out what really matters most.  What are their priorities?  You keep the dialogue going and let your insightful questions help provide the answers.  Put your customer’s interests first.

3. Aligning to the Buyer’s (not your) Decision Making Process
If you view sales opportunities through the lens of the customer’s decision making process, you are much less likely to encounter obstacles to the sale. It is up to you to figure out who needs to be involved and what needs to happen before the deal can be closed.

Make sure that you identify the decision makers and understand both the decision making process and criteria that will be used to make the final decision.  The better you can align with the customer’s buying process and business goals, the less resistance there will be.

4. Helping Create the Vision and Calculate the Value of Success
Sometimes, the best way to forestall objections is to help the customer see what the solution would look like (the ideal) and what would happen without it (the risk of not buying).  Create a vision of the desired outcome and value together.  Draw a picture together of the real value of the solution.

Your customer needs to feel confidence that they will look good and that the solution will be successful.

The Bottom Line
Most sales obstacles can be avoided with proper sales call planning, preparation and intention.  To avoid sales obstacles focus on helping the customer to succeed and following their buying process.  You’ll run into far fewer objections.

To learn more about how to avoid sales obstacles, please download The 2 Most Common Sales Negotiation Tactics Top Sellers Prepare For

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