May of us remember that 1984 Wendy’s commercial with the old lady looking with disappointment at her hamburger. There was a lot of bun, but not much beef. I think that many prospects are asking the same question of sales and marketing professionals.

Research by the RAIN Group presented in the book, Insight Selling, showed that buyers awarded business to sales professionals that brought valuable insights to their company. They did more than present great products–great products ranked #24 on the list of things buyers valued. Instead, they brought ideas. Essentially, they made a bridge between the prospect’s goals/challenges and the products/services they offered.

Your best prospects are asking the same question as the lady in the commercial: “Where’s the beef?”

Buyers are crying out for partners who can help them solve their problems. Be that person and you win.

Beef=Value

Essentially, buyers want us to help them realize more value. They want to purchase services and solutions that make their business better.

As sales and marketing professionals, we need to continually ask ourselves these two challenging questions:

  1. How much value am I bringing to my clients and prospects?
  2. How can I bring more value?

Here are a few ideas on how to bring more beef to your prospects.

1. Grow Your Understanding of Business

You have a deep understanding of your products. You also need a broad understanding of business. Why? Until you understand the big picture of what your prospects are trying to accomplish in their business, you won’t be able to build the bridge. The more you can understand the big picture of business, the stronger the bridge you’ll be able to make.

Become a student of business. Learn how your clients and prospects keep score. Pay attention to mega trends. Always be learning about how business works. The business acumen you develop will help you beef up your value.

2. Learn How To Apply Your Products

We all mock the order-taker rep. In the world of the internet, this type of sales rep is quickly becoming a dinosaur. The smart sales rep knows how to build bridges between a client’s business problem and the product offering.

The smart rep realizes that people don’t buy products, they buy outcomes. Nobody goes to Home Depot to buy drill bits, they go to buy holes. It just so happens that you need a drill bit to make a hole. Home Depot is smart when they run clinics, publish articles, and sponsor HGTV shows that teach people how to have a better homes. It drives renovation which requires drilling holes.

If you think about it, very few of your customers bought your products. They bought the outcomes your products bring. Smart salespeople and marketers understand this. They focus on the outcomes.

3. Tell The Story of How You Can Help

Like a good steak, ever good burger has some sizzle. You need to deliver your value message in a compelling manner. It reminds me of Story Brand by Donald Miller. Our marketing team at Convergo uses this method to create a clear message that resonates with buyers. I think this approach also applies to sales.

  1. The buyer is the hero. They have a problem–a goal they want to meet and a challenge meeting that goal.
  2. You are the guide. Like Obi Wan Kenobi guided Luke Skywalker, you are the guide to your prospect. You bring experience and expertise to bear to help them solve their problem.
  3. You have a plan. This is the bridge–the way to get from where they are to where they want to be by applying your products, services, and solutions.
  4. You call buyers to action.  ABC-Always Be Closing.
  5. When implemented, the plan ends in success and helps them avoid failure. Much like a leader casts a clear vision of a preferable future, you cast vision for a better future to help motivate your prospects to take action.

Insight Selling, Story Brand, and every other great sales or marketing system assume one thing: you can bring value. Make sure your clients and prospects are left asking, “Where’s the beef.” Learn about business in general. Learn about their business. Then get busy building bridges. You’ll have people linked up to order your burgers.

Larry Levine

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