The #1 Reason People Buy Software…Hint Hint…It Ain’t What You Been Taught

Was having a scotch the other day with a very well-known sales leader…the kinda dude that has had 10,000+ humans in his org and travels with an entourage.  Yeah…that guy.  We were talking about personnel issues and what to do if you don’t like one of your reports.  Simply put, he said…”it takes all kinds.”

In the back of my mind I contemplated whether someone could be successful in sales if they weren’t likeable.  After all, the very essence of sales success is rooted in relationships.  And…in order to build a relationship with someone, you have to be likeable, right?  WRONG BRO!  Stand by for processing…

When I was 24, I met the best software seller of all time.  He was the old-school, fancy suit wearing, Porsche-driving, bar-carousing, womanizing, charismatic sales guy of the 90’s.  I begged him to mentor me, but all I would ever get is a snippet of genius once in a blue moon.  However, one of those snippets would change my selling life forever.

He told me selling is very simple – people buy for 1 of 3 reasons:

  1. They want to be Rich
  2. They want to be Promoted
  3. They want to be Recognized

Yeah…I did the same thing as you just did when I heard this – I tilted my head like a confused puppy hearing a high-pitched noise.  He went on to lecture me and gave examples of how he took down whammer deals based on this methodology.  Over the years, I’ve built a playbook and focus the majority of my time coaching reps on how to execute on this method.  Here are a few examples:

  1. Money.  Translation – these buyers REALLY like bonus time.  How does your software help them achieve a bonus better than your competition?  Are you sending them white papers around your solution, or do you send them a text on the latest Ferrari (if he’s a car guy) you just read about?  Is she buying her company’s stock or does Bitcoin have her attention?  Does your stack’s ROI help drive EPS, and have you shown how that stock’s EPS impact will drive share price to a portfolio of someone who has…say…$250K holding?  If not, someone like me is doing that very thing…
  2. Promotion.  Did they just receive a promotion recently or is there a vacant spot that would make sense for their career progression?  I love to ask the question, what’s your next move here at XYZ in your quest to be a titan of industry?  Is your stack something unique that could form an entire new organization whereby they can build a resume?  Have you asked them if “they know anyone” as one of your other customers has an opening?  If they buy your product, are you asking them to host reference calls with Executives of other prospects?
  3. Recognition.  This is by far the most common and easiest to appeal to.  How does your stack help them get more visibility within their four walls?  Why is the recognition they get for buying yours different than your competition?  Can you put them “on stage” at your next kickoff, conference, or industry trade show?  Know any authors at trade rags that can feature your stack and their interview?

Do these things…and win.  Do them not…well…hope you have the best stack at the lowest cost AND pray that you aren’t competing against one of stone cold killers on my team.

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