How do you build stronger relationships with your best clients, customers, and partners? An anticipatory sales strategy can help you transform your business development activities. What if you could use your new anticipatory sales capabilities to increase your clients’ market share?
Let’s apply the anticipatory sales mindset to working with your clients’ lives and businesses. If we can do this, we elevate what clients expect from us and put our competitors in the rear-view mirror!
Anticipatory sales organizations are good at identifying what’s next. Not what might happen, but what we know with certainty. Now imagine what this could do to establish you as a market leader. Most clients don’t buy because they are concerned about risk. Remove risk from your client’s decisions and you become an invaluable partner.
Can you imagine sitting down with your clients to talk about their future? Helping them anticipate what is going to happen? Your customers are looking to leverage your knowledge in their businesses. They are looking for vendors to provide different insights into what is happening in their markets. Anticipatory sales professionals provide their clients with certainty.
The key to helping clients better understand their future is the ability to help them see both the big picture and small details. To do this, you need to become their trusted thinking partner. Are your business development teams up to the task? This capability is not as simple as asking good questions. I believe that your people must be able to help clarify what your client sees. Help the client anticipate their future.
Dan Burrus shares a framework in his new book, The Anticipatory Organization. Your business development teams must become anticipatory. Anticipatory sales can provide you a competitive advantage in your markets.
Your teams must help you clients see and identify the hard and soft trends in their markets and, maybe more importantly, in their customers’ markets. I will share more on this strategy in a future blog.
I’ve been experimenting with how to use these anticipatory sales trends to change the conversation in the early stages of business development. It requires some additional research before making the first call, but my callback numbers are hovering at 30% with the C-level officers. I’m just warming up.
I’m using this anticipatory sales tool to develop new clients. Executive clients seem very interested in understanding how hard trends are going to impact their markets. They are returning my calls and emails. I’m sharing information that they may have seen, but have struggled to understand and put into context. An anticipatory sales model is not telling clients what you know. It’s about helping them see how certain ideas can help transform their business.
For example, I’m talking with a retail client about how the hard trend of an aging population is going to change how they create their customer experience. What will it mean when their customers change their shopping patterns? How do they work with manufacturers to create better, easier to use products? What does it mean for them to have their sales associates ready to deal with more customers requiring assistance in buying in the store and delivered to their home.
I bet your thinking that’s what Amazon is trying to create. A totally unique customer experience through technology. It’s true, but I think you can see something else here. Their acquisition of Whole Foods will provide them a significant base to operate from in many markets. What would you advise your clients as they face this fierce competitor in their markets?
As anticipatory sales organizations, your people need to elevate their discussions with customers and clients. They must look at the market and see what can be, not just what is. Now this requires the whole organization to become anticipatory.
Your product development and marketing teams need to create products and services that align with hard trends and exploit soft trends. How are new technologies going to impact your products and services?
I believe that we are all going to become technology organizations as we move into the future. Tomorrow, I’ll share several technology trends that are going to change the way you create and deliver products and services forever.
Technology is a transformational hard trend. I’ll share several ideas that will help you better understand the possibilities and the power of transformational technologies.
See you next week at Market Leadership Journal