“Insight selling” — Is it the answer?

insight selling cover

Raintoday.com offers readers the opportunity to receive a summary of John Doerr and Mike Schultz’s book:?Insight Selling: Surprising Research on What Sales Winners Do Differently,

Like most good, free things (and perhaps reflecting what you would learn if you purchased the book — or more seriously, extended a consulting contract) there are observations that combine some common sense, challenge your thinking and draw you into seeking “more”. ?This is an intelligent rather than knee-jerk approach to the selling occupation and practices.

Amazon.com reviewer Andrew Sobel observed:

First, what I like is that this book is research-based, and the authors have not manipulated the research to support their thesis. It’s pretty straightforward and understandable: Based on interviews with 700 buyers, here’s what first-place finishers–the sales winners–do differently than the second-place finishers–the sales losers. In other words, these are the top factors most separating winners from second-place finishers:

1. Educated me with new ideas or perspectives
2. Collaborated with me
3. Persuaded me we would achieve results
4. Listened to me
5. Understood my needs

The?24-page document you will receive in exchange for providing Rain Today with your email address will elaborate on the points and presumably the full book goes into greater detail.

The single thought that came to mind after reading the material is: “Gosh this is hard to implement unless you really know what you are doing” and by that, I mean, you must have the rare combination of passion, deep subject knowledge, rapport-building personality skills, and drive to push and make the sale. If you just have some of the elements, you will fail.

Unfortunately, I know of no sales training or business development guidance programs that can provide you with all of these rather important traits — and certainly I know of no magic bullet to discover and hire people with these talents.

As it is, if we have reached the stage where we have started and then maintained viable businesses, we have these traits at least for enough situations and clients (and internal hiring and management practices) to succeed. Certainly, although not naturally a salesperson, I’ve picked up plenty of business by listening, caring, suggesting good ideas, and helping clients achieve objectives they may not have perceived at the outset of the relationship. I think these points explain why “seller doers” (Rainmakers) have become the primary validated business development approach for architectural, engineering and construction enterprises. Unless the person completing the sale has the technical or professional knowledge to really understand the work required — and is not simply a person whose primary skill is sales — there cannot be the depth and rapport (and genuine creative innovation and problem solving initiative) to be an effective high-level salesperson.

I welcome your thoughts — you can email buckshon@constructionmarketingideas.com or comment below — but fear the only people who would really benefit from “insight selling” already have the insights they need to succeed. This may be one of those situations where, if you have to ask, you don’t know the answer and are unlikely to capture it.

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