One of the main duties of a sales professional in most opportunities is to effectively promote how their capabilities will address a business issue in a unique way. I mean really, that’s selling as its core. But, what if I told you that maybe, just maybe, that’s only part of the equation? In fact, what if I told you there are actually three sales to be made within each sale?

The Three Sales

So, what is this “three sales within a sale?” Am I suggesting that you add complexity and time to your current sales cycles? No, but what I am suggesting is that your current deals could be at risk if you only consider the traditional, operational sale. Again, that’s focusing on how your capabilities solve a business problem. But, do you promote the other two sales – the transition sale and financial sale?

Maybe one way to illustrate this might be to think about when the second round of smartphones came on the market. It might have been easy for the phone carriers to sell us on the features and function of the smartphone. It’s a phone. You can make calls and access contact info, email, the internet, music, photos, a library of apps, etc. And, you can envision how all those functionalities will be useful in your daily routine

The Transitional Sale

But, did any of us have initial concerns about upgrading to a new model or even a new brand of smartphone? Am I going to lose all my contact info, photos, and videos? Do I have to download or repurchase all my apps or music? If I felt overwhelmed by those questions and didn’t see a clear path of how to get from my current state to the desired state, I might like the smartphone’s functionality but not the pain of change. Therefore, I might have decided to stay status quo. So, the need to understand and address a buyer’s transition pains and position-related services or capabilities might be as important as the operational sale. So, think about and address the transition sale.

The Financial Sale

Now, what underlies the operational and transitional sale is the financial sale. That is, what is it going to cost me initially and ongoing, in order to acquire these collective capabilities? Do the benefits outweigh the investment I’m going to be asked to make as a buyer? If the buyer is going to ask these questions of themselves, know that they’re coming, and be in a position to help establish the quantifiable value of your solution.

Upgrading my phone to new functionality and the ease of the transition better outweigh the price of the new phone or the contract extension required. And, while we are talking about a smartphone and related service, the same thing happens in your world of selling. Sell them on the functionality of your offering, but don’t neglect helping them with how they transition from their current to their desired state, and the tangible value of the total solution.




James Touchstone
Author:
James Touchstone, Director, Learning and Development

James N. Touchstone is SPI’s Director of Learning and Development, responsible for the creation and enhancement of advanced sales methodology and skill enhancement programs. He is also co-author of The Solution Selling Fieldbook.

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