Try Selling Them A Better Buying Process
Consider the three following propositions:
1) Customer personal do not have the time and/or wherewithal to address all of their known, significant problems.
This is obviously true. I can't ever remember a customer manager complaining about not having enough to do because there were too few problems to solve. In other words, ifthis prospect is at all qualified, there's an opportunity to sell something. The rep job here is to explain how the solution can solve the problem.
2) Customers have problems they don't even know about.
Also true. Harder to uncover, but odds of closing a deal are better because the rep is positioned to provide substantially more value. The rep job here starts earlier in the customer decision process. It consists of offloading the identification and definition of issues from the customer in addition to explaining the benefits of the solution.
3) Customer decision processes are not robust enough to deal with the complexity of their problems.
If a customer is oblivious to a problem, it is unlikely that same customer can analyze either the problem itself or alternative solutions to it. The sales rep job here extends out later in the customer decision process. It consists not only of identification and definition of issues and explaining the benefits of the solution, but also an analysis of multiple courses of corrective action. The rep would take those alternatives and add spreadsheets and graphs showing their respective cash flows, net present values and ROIs. In other words, the rep would provide a complete business case.
If the roles were reversed, which type of rep would you choose? Would you choose the one who can solve your problem? Or would you choose the one who can provide solutions to problems you didn't even know you had? The answer is neither!
You'd choose the rep who walks in with a complete business case before you even ask for it. You'd choose the rep who thinks from your perspective. You'd choose the rep who continuously improves the quality of your decision process.