Everyone dealing with B2B sales, whether it be marketers, business developers, or sales managers, has a crucial point for a successful strategy in how they communicate their own vision.
Identify your own vision in B2B sales
B2B sales are characterized by purchases made from people for people. Therefore, being attractive is a key value: it is necessary to be able to communicate something that goes beyond the offered product or service. Of great importance is to have a vision of what the product or service can do and how it connects with reality.
A vision can make a difference.
It is the critical point of every business, on which you can find more in this post from Vehnta blog entitled From strategy to customer acquisition.
In the paragraph related to Emotional aspects in the definition of a profitable business idea, which follows the intuition of Simon Sinek and which is inspired by his book Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action, we define how vision can be the extra gear of your next commercial negotiation. It can be the starting point to make your product or service more interesting to your targets and to their objectives.
In order to build a relationship with the people that belong to your target, you necessarily need to share their vision. A vision that can embrace their objectives and, at the same time, go beyond them: thus setting the conditions for the precise and present satisfaction of these aims and, in parallel, offering a scenario for the future.
An interesting article published in Forbes entitled Does Your Goal Setting Have 2020 Vision? by Brett Steenbarger, Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Science at SUNY Upstate Medical University in Syracuse, accurately analyzes this issue.
How to add vision to objectives?
For his analysis, Steenbarger was inspired by the fundamental article that appeared on HBR in 2011, entitled Why Inspiration Matters, written by Scott Barry Kaufman, Scientific Director of The Imagination Institute in the Positive Psychology Center at the University of Pennsylvania, which defines the crucial role of inspiration. According to Kaufman, inspiration allows us to distance ourselves from everyday routines and restrictions, thus transforming our experience. That leads to the awareness of new possibilities, the openness to new ideas, to a more positive approach oriented toward the achievement of objectives, and, lastly, enhanced self-confidence, self-esteem, and optimism. This moment of clarity given by inspiration translates into vision: the capability of seeing something that we have never seen before.
Therefore, Steenbarger re-elaborates these arguments and adds that vision is nothing but the transcendent element of inspiration: the element able to go beyond every sensitive experience as if, in some ways, vision is the result of the activity made by inspiration. Steenbarger then affirms that it is precisely this vision, arisen from inspiration, which will have to lead the business. The ability to go beyond objectives and processes, both for you and your potential customers. The definition of objectives is often an efficient activity, composed of timelines and considerations on the process, which sometimes disregards the big picture. In order to avoid getting lost in technicalities and, instead, to have a straightforward project in mind, a vision is necessary. Finally, this vision will have to be communicated to your targets, which, as defined at the beginning of the paragraph, will have to be able to embrace it and make it their own: with the aim of having a mutual interest and mutual vision.
Consequently, vision will have to be fully integrated into B2B sales strategy: otherwise, the risk is to play only the pricing battle, only in technical terms, which could not lead to the right marginality for your business.
How to improve your communication to convey the vision
Everyone dealing with B2B sales will have to be able to communicate their vision in every moment and with every available channel. Email, reports, messages, and posts on social media and potentially on blogs regarding written communication, then calls and meetings, paying attention also to non-verbal communication: every occasion is fundamental to convey your own vision.
Especially in B2B sales, it is essential to communicate clearly and persuasively to go beyond the technical aspect of the product or service, beyond its price, beyond the connected services, to engage the interlocutor truly.
Whether your target is a specialized one with significant expertise that allows it to speak the jargon of your sector or a more generic target, the ground rules for business communication are the same. A technical audience will have the chance to understand a different vocabulary than a generic public, but clarity in exposition and argumentation is not to be underestimated. Simplicity, in every business context, is a significant value. Beyond simplicity, which entails the elimination of too complex or structured formulas, two other essential characteristics necessary for business communication are speed in understanding and human touch.
By speed in understanding, we mean that, since the very first words, whether they are written or spoken during a call or a meeting, the addressee of the message will have to immediately understand the topic of the conversation and, possibly, your request. In this case, the golden rule of English journalism can help you. In every text, try, if possible, to answer the 5W from the very first words: the Five Ws are fundamental to avoid wasting time: both for you and your interlocutor.
As previously mentioned, the last piece of advice we would like to share with you on this subject is to add a human touch to your communication. That can be translated into many concepts.
According to us, this principle can be translated, in terms of written communication, into texts that sound like spoken language, as if they were part of a face-to-face conversation. That brings people together and creates relationships: it could help you make the first step of your new commercial negotiation. Should you find the topic interesting, here is a post by Mike Reed, Co-Founder and Creative Director of Reed Words, published in HBR blog some weeks ago: Writing About Business (Without Being a Bore)
Speaking of spoken communication means controlling non-verbal communication by always displaying an open attitude and, above all, adjusting the meetings on different registers. In the initial stage of the so-called small talk, it is indeed necessary to show yourself at ease. Then, switch to a more professional and resolute attitude in the central part of the meeting. Lastly, close the conversation with a smile because, as the American poetess Maya Angelou stated: “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
After all, selling is not hard if you do it with enthusiasm!
Obviously, in a brief article like this one, it is impossible to analyze all the different shades on how to communicate your vision in B2B sales. Still, we hope to have offered some insights or themes for reflection in any case.
In the Divine Comedy, Dante Alighieri stated: “You are to know the bitter taste of others’ bread, how salt it is, and know how hard a path it is for one who goes descending and ascending others stairs.” For sure, he was not referring to sales, but we believe that this quote perfectly adapts to our world. As a matter of fact, everyone dealing with sales knows the difficulties of closing a deal: how it is difficult to be paid (the bread of others), the fatigue of travelling, descending and climbing the others’ stairs. This tercet of Canto XVII of the Dantean Paradise describes the necessary effort to put in every single deal opportunity.
However, this won’t stop us for sure.
It is precisely this adventure and discovery spirit that guides us, with planning and enthusiasm, because as Frank Bettger stated: “Selling is the easiest job in the world if you work it hard-but the hardest job in the world if you try to work it easily.”
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