Creating value for your customers by assisting them in evaluating problems they might not have considered, new growth opportunities they weren’t aware of, and generally being there to kick around solutions they haven’t thought through are among the strongest assets a B2B salesperson brings to the table. In an interesting study on how to create value in the selling experience, simply being a reliable partner was shown to influence buyers approximately 25 percent of the time.
Think about that. Just being a reliable partner has tremendous impact on buyers. (But deep down, we all know that, don’t we?) And part of that impact you bring to the table is experiential in nature – creating the experience of how you work together to your mutual benefit.
This approach goes beyond the product or service you are selling. Nuanced elements on how you partner with your clients, instead of just trying to close a deal, create value in the experience itself – and outlives sales cycles or a specified period of time (month-end specials, Black Friday specials, etc.)
Creating an experiential sales experience – focusing on the client’s long-term needs and exploring solutions they might not have considered – applies to the retail sales floor as well. We reported last year on how Millennials love shopping in brick-n-mortar stores where they can touch and feel products. And I don’t think that’s reflective of some new trend based on a demographic sliver – I think older people have gotten turned off of shopping in person because no one knows what the hell the products do or how they function, and no one is listening and trying to help the shopper find the perfect solution.
Another major factor in taking a more experiential approach to your selling technique is that it reduces stress – just the mindset of knowing you have to close sales is stressful – and stress kills the selling process.
So whether it’s a B2B play or a B2C play, do your job and go beyond just the next sale. Think long-term and build relationships. Develop customers who want to do business with you because you offer more than just a low price. Get experiential.