What Is a Compelling Sales Trigger to Buy
Experienced salespeople know that sales success is all about relevance, access, and timing.  Your chances of success are greatly increased if you can contact the right person, at the right time, with the right need that matches your unique value proposition.  The key is to identify and monitor your target client’s compelling sales triggers to buy and to be ready to take advantage of the timing.

Some Common Triggering Events
In general, a sales trigger is a shift in your target customer’s situation that opens a sales door for you – a change in circumstances that prompts an important and urgent need for your unique solution.  Your challenge is to know when, or even before, those sales triggers happen so that you can be there to help before the competition. 

Here are some of the events identified from a recent customized solution selling training workshop that create the conditions that are ripe for a sale:

  • Mergers and acquisitions
  • Time for a renewal or upgrade
  • Changes in leadership
  • Team restructuring
  • Shifts in strategy
  • Company growth or slow down
  • Announcement of a new large customer or loss of a large account
  • Dissatisfaction with a current supplier
  • Entry into a new market or development of a new product
  • Increased competition

In all these cases, there has been a change that creates an opportunity for you to reach out and address a specific need.  But you need to act quickly – ideally just at the point where your client recognizes there’s a problem (even better if you help them to recognize the problem) but has not yet started the search for answers.

How to Spot Client Triggers to Buy
Use all the tools at your disposal to keep up to date on what’s happening for your current and potential target clients.  Maintain regular contact with your clients so you are apprised of any major changes often before they occur.  Otherwise, consistently monitor the news, LinkedIn, Google Alerts, company newsletters, and even social media for special announcements. 

What to Do
Once you’ve spotted a compelling sales trigger, waste no time. Give your client a call and:

  1. Confirm the compelling sales trigger in terms of strategic, financial, operational, or customer importance and urgency.

  2. Link your value-added solution directly to your customer’s key business issues.

  3. Articulate your value proposition in a customer centric way that makes sense for their unique situation and that will directly help them to succeed – both personally and professionally.

Some Examples
For example, one client who provides building maintenance services identified “contract renewals” as a client buying trigger.  They created a list of their top 20 target accounts and researched when the contracts with their competitors would be up for renewal.  Then they created account plans to build relationships with those buyers one year in advance of the renewal dates and implemented a process to track client satisfaction and pricing.

Then, three months before the renewal date they began having conversations with the buyers about taking over the business by providing more value at a better price.  What could your sales team do to identify and take advantage of changing circumstances at your target clients’ organizations?

The Bottom Line
Salespeople who are primed to spot shifts in their client’s situation are primed to provide meaningful solutions when the timing is best.  Are you taking full advantage of client trigger-to-buy events?  If not, you are missing out on great sales opportunities and leaving deals on the table.

To learn more about how to increase new sales, download How to Move Beyond Consultative Selling To Win

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