Change Leadership — Secret # 101
Don’t Skip Steps
It is easier to do a job right than to explain why you didn’t.
—Martin Van Buren
What I Need to Know
Wouldn’t it be nice if you could just skip to the end? It would be nice, when you are in a boring departmental meeting, if you could just press the fast-forward button as people spoke and then hit the play button just as the department head says, “Okay, that’s it for today. Thanks everybody.”
Wouldn’t it be nice if you could just “call high” and go right to the decision maker to get the purchase order and then move on to the next sale?
Bulldog salespeople might be able to skip steps and go for the quick close in transactional selling situations. But if you are establishing high value as a salesperson and high value for your product, you will not be successful in skipping steps.
Value perception is like a chain where every link is the value perceived by a person on the buying committee. Your ability to pull the order through the customer’s approval process depends on the strength of the chain. And the chain is only as strong as the person with the weakest perception of your value. The people who do not see the value will ultimately slow down your order. The worst-case scenario is that, in the process of questioning the value, they move themselves into a corner where they feel they must actively oppose your order just to preserve their credibility.
What I Need to Do
You will be far more successful if you cross every ‘t’ and dot every ‘i’ in the process of establishing value. Moving fast in a competitive world is important, but no longer sufficient.
What matters most to buyers in today’s competitive world?
Features, benefits, solutions, and pricing can all be found in the four corners of the earth with the click of a computer mouse. The one, all-important item that cannot be delivered through a fiber-optic cable or by a parcel delivery truck is the actual outcome the customer is trying to achieve. Only the customer, with your assistance as her change agent, can achieve the outcome.
Determine the customer’s desired outcome and then take every step necessary to achieve it—not one step more and not one step less.