The sales community on Linkedin is vibrant and inspiring. I enjoy the discourse and try to share thoughts from time to time. The fact that the focus is shifting from the supply side (read Sellers ) to the demand side (read Buyers) is evident. However, to ask any leader of any organisation “Tell me, do you personally prefer – to buy at your own pace or to be sold to?” what answer do you think I got every time? Imagine, I asked you this question right now, what would your answer be?
Exactly, that’s what I thought.
So if you are building a product like Pitch.Link, which will be used equally by both the supply and demand side, because any value transaction process needs two sides, how do you convince the supply side to look at a product that empowers the Buyers at the cost of lower analytics because it is right to respect buyer privacy?
One definite way is to “Sell A New Way of Thinking” – says Mark Boncheck, Chief Epiphany Officer of Shift Thinking a management consulting firm. According to him “data, information, and value propositions are not enough to sell innovative products. We all know the saying, “I’ll believe it when I see it.” But when it comes to innovation, the truth is often “I’ll see it when I believe it.””
So that brings us to creating mental models or lenses (Seth Godin writes about this same phenomena in his own way and Gabriel Weinberg, with reference to Charlie Munger, writes about mastering mental models to make sense of the world) to help your prospects make sense of your innovation. By definition, in this case buyers were not looking out for this exact product (your innovation) because possibly they didn’t think it existed; However once they ‘get it’ they will create other products or services that would help them create the world they have now identified. Steve Jobs was one of the finest mind shifters of our times. However it was not enough for Apple to build the Phone and build a frame for users to want it – they built technologies, a whole new operating system, developed new chips and completely new manufacturing processes to make the iPhone a reality. So the folks at Foxconn were not really selling Apple a low price destination for manufacturing. Apple was building the tools and machines and training Foxconn employees to deliver – and thus Foxconn to sell – what Apple wanted to buy – which in turn helped them sell their products.
Mark explains a 3 step process that includes 1. Identifying the shift 2. Finding the sticking point 3.Building the program. He quotes Beth Comstock, the then CMO of GE – “The really good innovations – the ones that change the world – need to be explained before they’re accepted,” Mindshare before market share – the apt GE mantra.
Mark’s article form 2014 is more relevant today and provides me with vital clues as I try to explain how Zero Interruption transaction environment with complete buyer control over privacy and engagement is the future.
Because, Buying will be the new selling.
Link to Mark Boncheck’s article:
Don’t Sell a Product, Sell a Whole New Way of Thinking https://hbr.org/2014/07/dont-sell-a-product-sell-a-whole-new-way-of-thinking