Why You Must Sell at Both the Business and Personal Levels
Everyone must sell to some degree or another regardless of their specific role. A best practice of convincing others is to sell at both a business and personal level. This is true of interviewing for a job or promotion, true of professional selling, true of presenting your ideas to staff or your boss, and true of working with your children.
Personal level: the things that matter most to each person involved in the decision, that are of primary interest or concern to him or her.
Business level: the issues being faced by the employer, company, or department; the impact of those issues (size and scope); and the consequences of not taking action to address them.
Selling at the personal level is accomplished by first asking the prospect/interviewer/supervisor/fellow staffer what they personally believe is the most important issue or concern they want to solve, and why they chose it as their most important issue. In other words, you must learn both the what and why from each person’s perspective. Based on what you learn, identify and propose solutions for those issues and concerns that are personally high priorities for the prospect/interviewer/supervisor/fellow staffer. Personal level selling also includes the ability to develop trust and rapport with each person involved in the decision. In situations with multiple decision makers and influencers, selling at the personal level includes determining what is important to each individual (ex: the hiring manager and HR, or three department heads and the CFO).
Selling at the business level is achieved through first determining the key issues for the organization to solve, achieve, or gain, when hiring a candidate, buying a product or service, adopting a plan, etc. Once you understand the desired business outcomes, demonstrate how hiring you, buying from your company, adopting you idea, etc. will help the organization achieve the goals you learned through your needs assessment. In short, how you, your idea, your product, etc will solve a business problem, capitalize on a business opportunity, or achieve a business objective.
When selling at either the business or personal level, the successful person learns the factors and circumstances driving the business need to be solved, and what will make each decision maker and influencer comfortable moving ahead.
The preceding was excerpted from Boyer Management Group’s B2B Sales Essentials℠ program.
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