Addressing Unspoken Obstacles in Sales

By | July 25, 2019

After several years of meeting with MSP prospects, you will have likely begun to get a sixth sense for elements of the conversation that are left unsaid but are influencing how your prospect thinks about you and whether or not they should do business with you. These unspoken obstacles are like rocks beneath the surface of the ocean. You might not see them, but they can sink your ship if you do not figure out where they are and learn to maneuver around them.

We have found that the MSP salespeople who can identify these concerns, shining a light on them so that they can be addressed directly, see higher closing rates and typically uncover additional business opportunities along the way. In the most basic sales conversation, unspoken obstacles typically include factors such as:

– The reality that your prospect hears pitches from MSPs on a regular basis.

– The fact that your prospect already has an MSP solution and is mostly happy with that solution already.

– The likelihood that the real depth of what makes an MSP solution effective for a business can be beyond the technical understanding of the prospect and therefore is a source of embarrassment (no one likes to feel stupid).

If you label these unspoken concerns and discuss them directly, you can dispel a great deal of tension in the sales conversation. To reach that point of relief, however, you have to embrace the initial discomfort of the situation. In doing so, you demonstrate empathy and awareness for your prospect’s experience, but you have to be willing to push through the early awkwardness to reap those rewards.

Problems lingering beneath the surface

As you become more adept at sensing problems lingering beneath the surface, you will begin to uncover deeper, even more impactful conversation points with your prospects, and this is where your sales process can leap to another level. With so many MSPs focusing on the usual topics of a sales conversation — features, value, service, and so on — having the ability to voice the unsaid can put you an entirely different league. Prospects will notice that.

(Related: World Class Growth Checklist)

For example, if your prospect seems especially apprehensive about security or about file management, pausing the conversation to ask what is really going in their mind, to find out what is really holding them back can reveal an important concern. It is not unusual for prospects to be embarrassed by their past missteps — perhaps a major security breach left them with egg on their face, or perhaps the last solution they picked ended with an accidental wipe of their file archives — and those lingering concerns can hinder your ability to persuade.

To get to those more deeply rooted issues, you have to work at becoming more in-tune with your prospects and at having the bravery to ask about the presence of the unknown. What comes next may be surprising and sometimes unusual, but being able to identify it, label it, and have a frank conversation about how it affects your prospect is a powerful step forward in your sales process.

Thank you Smarter MSP for publishing this article.

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