Twenty years ago, a consultant told me “it’s not about you” and that has served me well in my professional career and personal life. It’s application to marketing, selling and account management continues to be true. I find myself using it often to counsel my clients. Just last month I was having a strategy meeting with one of my clients and they were talking about their technology and the number of conversations they have had with prospects about what their “cool” technology could do. I ask them what kind of success they were having with that approach. After a long silence, I said to them just remember one thing “It’s not about you or your technology. It’s about the prospect or customer. You must shift your focus from you to your buyers.” They thought for a few moments and then began asking questions of each other and of me and then started sharing past stories of unsuccessful sales cycles using their newfound mantra “it not about our technology!”
From that moment on they started thinking in terms of what value their technology and resources created for prospects and customers and planned conversations that uncovered that value. Their conversations with prospects have totally changed and they are able to quickly determine viable prospects from shoppers. They are securing advances with these prospects and their prospect to customer conversion ratios are increasing. You might be saying to yourself “that’s nothing new” and you are right but what I have found is people understand the concept but don’t practice it. I think that’s why there are so many books written on selling and negotiating.
So the next time you are preparing for a call, remember it’s not about you, your technology, service or product. The first order of business is about understanding the other person.