Interacting Differently

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“It’s not the will to win that matters — everyone has that.  It’s the will to prepare to win that matters.”

–     Paul “Bear” Bryant, (1913 – 1983), legendary college football coach 

Ultimately, it’s about changing the conversation.  And in order to do that effectively, we have to wrap our heads around the idea that perspectives matter more than facts.  A week ago, Seth Godin summed it up pretty well.  There is so much misinformation out there masquerading as fact that we can’t even have a decent April Fools Day anymore.

I can debate your “facts” with my “facts.”  Anyone with a social media account can spew “facts” without the expectation that they’ll have to prove or stand behind them.  If all we want to do is engage in the same “present-handle objections-close sales” rhetoric that transactional managers still subscribe to, put a fork in us.  We’re done.

To Coach Bryant’s point — it’s about being prepared to win.  Will we spend the time to research the company?  Will we know their ownership structure?  Will we figure out on which side their bread is buttered, or if they’ve settled on margarine in a challenging market?  Will we ask questions more than make pitches?  Will we invest the time to make sure we’re asking questions that will make a difference?

The “pitch” is still a skill worth mastering, especially in the context of yesterday’s post on storytelling.  However, if “the pitch” is just a spiel, a shtick, a stand-up routine designed to misdirect the buyer from their own agenda, it’s not only not gonna work, it’s disingenuous at best and downright harmful at the other end of the spectrum.

B2B selling today is about connecting and understanding a mutually desired outcome — and investing in one another, buyer and seller, to bring it about.  If it ain’t, maybe we’re not selling to, or buying from the right people.


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