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Practice Management > Building Your Business

Sell how you buy

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Any time you make assumptions about a buyer, ask yourself if that assumption is true about you and the way you buy. If you were your buyer, how would you want a salesperson to approach you? Would you want a spam email in your LinkedIn inbox? Would you find that less offensive than a phone call?

If you were challenged to create better business results at your own company, would you want the person who could help you to wait for you to find them? If you were buying a serious, large, complex set of outcomes, would you do a ton of research before you ever engaged with a salesperson?

If you were working hard to move your business forward, would you want a salesperson to spend her first meeting with you trying to establish some common ground on which to build a relationship? Or would the value of your relationship depend entirely on her ability to create value for you?

Would you want a salesperson to assume that you are just like the rest of their client portfolio, that your challenges could be resolved in exactly the same way that you have resolved others’ challenges? Or would you want them to learn about your business, how you do what you do and the ways in which a solution might need to be modified to work for you?

If you knew what you needed, would you want a salesperson to believe that you had a sophisticated buying process, that you had the depth of experience to know all the trade-offs and that you preferred he follow your lead? Or would you rather your salesperson take the initiative and present ways to improve your business?

Would you want a massive slide deck presentation? Or would a conversation create more value?

When it comes to pricing, would you want the salesperson to provide you with the lowest possible price, even if it meant that you wouldn’t get exactly the result you needed? Or would you want him to help you make the right investment for the outcomes you really need?

If you were concerned about the risk of making an investment, would you want the salesperson to hide from a discussion of risk and hope you’re able to guard against it on your own? Or would you want them to engage with you and help you get the information you need to confidently move forward with your decision?

How would you want to buy?

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S. Anthony Iannarino is the mana33ging director of B2B Sales Coach & Consultancy, a boutique sales coaching and consulting company, and an adjunct faculty member at Capital University’s School of Management and Leadership. For more information, go


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