Insight

Three Methods To Deliver Insight

The three methods for delivering insight are Customer Scenarios (Story), Provocative Questions, and Teaching with Research.

The objective of all three methods is to shine the light of insight on unrecognized value so that salespeople can sell value and differentiate their product. Value is unrecognized when either the customer does not recognize the true root cause of the problem, or when the customer under appreciates the cost of the status quo or the benefits of the change.

Method One: Customer Insight Scenario (Story)

Delivering insight via a story is the preferred method when the insight is big and potentially controversial. If you shine the light of insight directly on how a customer isn’t doing something well today, for example, they may feel under attack, become offended, and shut down. Because a story is about someone else, it’s non-threatening. Without feeling attacked, the customer can now relax and listen to your customer story, and if it’s insightful enough, they may start to tell themselves a new story where new choices make more sense (click Six Reasons Why Insight Storytelling Trump Verbal Persuasion At Delivering Insight). 

Customer Insight Scenario Video Examples

Method Two: Provocative Questions

It’s counter intuitive, but if you want your salespeople to challenge the status quo and create value with discovery questions, I believe they first need to know the answers before they are able to ask the questions.

Why? Imagine you’re directing someone to a destination: They’ve misinterpreted your directions, and they are now lost. How are you going to get them back on course when all you have are written directions?

After working as a business partner at one of the largest question based sales methodology companies for 5-years, it was my experience that most salespeople find themselves in the same dilemma when they try to direct customers to value with questions. The customer’s answers never follow the sequential nature of the questioning model, because it’s too inflexible to adjust to the fluidity of a business conversation.

To get customers back on course, salespeople don’t need better directions, they need a map. If salespeople, for example, know the answers behind the questions, the answers will paint a picture/visual story that salespeople can use as a map. With this map, they can guide customers with directed questions to unrecognized or misunderstood problems, and thereby, create value for their product.

Method Three: Teaching with Research

Delivering insight via teaching (i.e. Challenger Sale) is the preferred method of delivering insight when it is backed up with compelling third party research. It is not the preferred method when the insight is potentially controversial, because the salesperson may risk challenge the customer, and not their thinking. 

Next Steps

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