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We all know selling can be hard, so wouldn’t it be great if we didn’t have to sell anymore?

While we can’t get rid of selling completely, we can make it easier on ourselves by switching roles with our prospects. Here’s what I mean: Let prospects sell you, so you don’t have to sell to them.

When you’re letting prospects sell you, there are some things you should consider.

Stop selling and start educating

The best thing you can do is move as far away from selling as possible. You do this by changing up your sales approach. Don’t sell to prospects when you first meet with them. Instead, be curious.

Ask them questions about not only their technology solutions, but their overall business strategies. This helps you gain a better understanding of how they operate and view technology — but don’t stop at just questioning them. You must also provide value to them in return.

This is where you begin to educate prospects. Show your knowledgeable on the services you’re providing by sharing your professional expertise.

Don’t let your prospects walk away from meetings without learning anything. Even if they eventually decide to go with one of your competitors, it’s better they find value in what you offer them during your conversation. You never know when your paths are going to cross again. Delivering value whenever possible is always worth it in the end.

After you’re done educating the prospect, it’s time to move on to the next step: Identifying the core business decision.

Uncover the core business decision instead of selling to pain

Here’s something to always keep in mind: Resist your instincts to sell to pain right off the bat. When you sell to pain too soon, prospects clam up on you. When that happens, you’re going to lose them quickly.

Also, selling to pain typically gets you nowhere. What happens is you end up going back and forth with a client on how you can solve all their pain points without moving the conversation along.

Instead, always strive to identify the core business decision the prospect must make (there’s one in every sales opportunity). If you can’t find it, dig deeper in the pain by asking follow-up questions.

You want to uncover the core business decision as early as possible. When you find it, present it to the prospect, begin a discussion around it, and determine if the prospect agrees with your judgment.

While you’re busy uncovering the core business decision, don’t fall into a common trap many MSP salespeople step into.

Avoid falling into this trap

Sometimes the prospect you’re sitting down with offers you a reason they’d switch services. While this may sound like a homerun initially, take a moment to assess the situation before moving forward. Think about this: Is the prospect’s reason the right reason, or is it really a chance for you to refocus?

Typically, the issue the prospect is providing you with isn’t the issue — it’s only the result of the issue. This is usually an opportunity for you to visualize the  inflection point and correct the underlying problem.

The truth is, selling will always be hard. Give yourself the best chance at closing a deal by educating prospects, uncovering the core business decision, and avoiding traps by refocusing and creating an inflection point.

Photo: Liderina / Shutterstock

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Gary Pica

Posted by Gary Pica

Gary Pica is a pioneer in the managed services field. He is one of ChannelPro's 20 industry visionaries and MSP Mentor's most influential leaders. He has already built two top-performing MSPs. Today, Gary is the President of TruMethods, a training, peer, and accountability firm aimed at helping IT solution providers reach their full potential as MSPs and cloud providers. Gary shares the key ingredients that transformed his business and his life through his training process. Today, hundreds of IT providers around the world utilize the TruMethods business transformation framework.

One Comment

  1. Gary, I love the way you told the reader to NOT sell to the pain right away. Clearly any prospect for an MSP is in pain. It’s an easy target.

    Curiosity is always the best sales approach. When people feel you have listened to them intently, without thinking about your next “solution” to offer them, they can be invited to dig deeper into their pain. Listening, then asking more questions will go much further than quickly offering them a solution.

    Although it is counter-intuitive, and goes against almost all sales training, you are giving excellent advice.


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