Risks in sales – Your Customers 


Risk: Your customers. 

Unless you are inheriting customers with active opportunities who are ready to buy, the customer opportunities you choose to pursue present significant risks. Your customer’s ability to purchase from you and their willingness to engage is a risk—until they sign a contract or place an order, there is no guarantee that they will be committed to working with you. Your customer can choose to stop a sales cycle at any time for any reason. 


Here are three ways you can reduce risk with your customers. 


Ruthless qualification – Find out what your customer’s requirements are early on and whether your customer will agree to your evaluation plan. Gain access to customer executives who will eventually make the final decision. Develop a sponsor who can coach you. If none of this is possible, make the difficult decision to walk away. Then go find better opportunities that you can win.


Help your customers buy – Rather than just blindly following the customer’s purchasing process, strive, early on, to integrate your organization’s selling process to help your customers buy. This is a proactive approach where your sales team initiates the process, works collaboratively with your customer to determine requirements, identifies key issues that can be resolved, and formulates a proposal focused on the business value that can be generated. 


Demonstrate your unique value. Using a value-based selling approach, you will engage with your customer to jointly build a vision around the value the customer will receive; along the way, you will articulate exactly how your solution is uniquely positioned to help your customer achieve substantial benefits. 


There’s still no absolute guarantee they will buy but applying these best practices will reduce your risk in pursuing all customer opportunities. 


I’m DJ Sebastian, and we’ll continue our discussion on the risks of a sales career in the next briefing.