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Book Summary: The Three Value Conversations Summary

The Three Value Conversations Summarize

Introduction: The Storyteller

The Three Value Conversations are all about: customer conversations.

Those “casual conversations” require planning and practice, although they should wind up sounding like they’re off the cuff.

Create a Buying Vision

74 percent of executives indicated that they give their business to the company that establishes the buying vision.

They choose to work with the company that helps them clearly see the need to change and helps them clarify their needs and solution requirements.

Make the Status Quo Unsafe

Showing your contact that the status quo is unsafe. It’s unacceptable, untenable, or unsustainable.

Your contact has to see that he “can’t get there from here” when it comes to his objectives and the risk created by sticking with the status quo.

The Three Value Conversations :Define a New Set of Needs

“This product can make your business better” rarely works up front. What actually works? Loss Aversion: Your business is in trouble

It’s not enough just to speak in generalities; you need data wherever possible.

The buyer knows you have an ulterior motive, so she’s not going to automatically believe that you’re being honest when you say that the sky is about to fall.

Align Your Strengths

Master storytellers paint a picture of their strength without the hard sell and letting the client come to that conclusion on her own.

Be a Meaning Maker

70 percent of buyers want to engage with sales reps before they identify their short list. In other words, they want you to be in there as they are trying to determine whether they even need to do something different.

Speak to Situations, Not Dispositions

Prospects react more powerfully to whether or not their situation, or status quo,
is putting them in danger, and whether they’re convinced that they must do something different to preserve their best interest

Fundamental Attribution Error

It’s only in connecting to the gaps or flaws in a prospect’s current approach
that you provoke opportunities and the urgency required to build a buying vision

The Three Value Conversations : Status Quo Profiles

To ensure that your messages are on point, you should use a status quo profile as
the starting point.

1. Currently, how are your prospects addressing the challenges that your product or service can resolve?
Help them realize that your solution can resolve existing issues—perhaps
even some they aren’t aware they have

2. Why do your prospects believe their current approach is working?
Don’t forget, prospects live in their world (not yours)

3. Since your prospects implemented their current approach, what
challenges, threats, or missed opportunities have come to light?

To identify these opportunities, keep tabs on the changes in your prospect’s industry

4. What are the holes in your prospects’ current approach?
You will have to identify and amplify the clear holes in their approach

The Three Value Conversations :Collaborative Higher-Order Business Problems

Research is showing that B2B team decisions are more collaborative.

When the team members come together, they focus on “higherorder” business problems that affect the whole, not just the individual.

Unconsidered Needs Drive Unexpected Opportunity

Changing someone’s mind “is about helping people see the inconsistency
in themselves, and then all of a sudden their mental model will shift naturally
and easily,” says Klein

It’s What They Don’t See Coming

You have to make the pains that they are living with more painful than the
pain of changing to a new solution.

The premium is your ability to tell buyers something they didn’t know about
a problem or of a missed opportunity that they didn’t even know they had.

Don’t Let Marketing Fool You

Customers and prospects don’t always react the way they say they will in focus groups and market research.

The Three Value Conversations : How Uncertainty Works in Your Favor

if you are an expert on a subject, you actually stand to lose the opportunity
to influence people by expressing too high a degree of certainty about
your opinions.

You can gain more engagement by hedging your recommendations.

Create Insight, Don’t Just Deliver Factoids

You need to ask yourself: What are your prospects doing today that they
don’t even realize is potentially harmful to their critical business issues?

Keep Your Claims Limited and Focused

Just because you have expanded your prospect’s list of considerations by
adding unconsidered needs during the process

Doesn’t mean that you have a license to add the kitchen sink to your product positioning claims for solving those needs.

Customers Are Wary of Too Many Choices

Adding complexity to your customer story and conversations actually hurts your
cause. Analysts call this choice overload


Don’t Throw in the Juicer

When you are in a heated competitive selling situation, don’t throw in or
highlight “value-added” features that the prospect has not identified as part of
his reason for making a purchase decision

Ironic and Unfortunate

“So that’s why it’s so much more expensive. I’m getting ripped off
because they added in features I don’t need.”

The Three Value Conversations : The Winning Number Is Three

once you share a fourth claim (or more), you
cross a tipping point and begin undermining your case.

Finding Your Magic Three

Picked your top three claims (unconsidered needs mapped
to unique or advantaged capabilities), you must resist the
temptation or pressure to throw in a bunch of other stuff.

Whiteboard Conversations Versus PowerPoint Presentations

People remember what you have to say nearly seven times more when
your words are accompanied by a simple, concrete image

There Is a Better Way to Visualize

The whiteboard approach, outperformed the PowerPoint presentations on a
wide range of measures assessing message impact

Three Recommendations for Great Whiteboard Visuals

1.Context. Your prospect needs to see her current status quo as unsafe

2. Contrast. Your image should show a clear contrast between the status quo
approach and what you are offering

3. Concrete. Simple, concrete visuals tell your prospect’s brain (the simple
decision-making part) that there’s a need and an opportunity to take action

Putting It All Together

The Three Value Conversations Business Acumen Gap

Executive decision makers prefer to have a discussion about business
trends, business issues, and business insights four times more than traditional relationship- and product knowledge–driven sales conversations.

“You’ve Got to Sell Higher!” Tips for Increasing Your Strategic
Altitude

Silicon Valley–based company, generated a 92 percent improvement
in its close rates after

changing its messaging to demonstrate the business impact and outcomes of an investment in its solution instead of its traditional value proposition approach.

To sell higher and bridge the business acumen gap, you must be competent,
confident, and compelling so that you can rise to the occasion and close more
deals.

Know Me Before You Meet Me: Developing Customer Insight

Executives want to know what they are getting themselves into.

Their time is so crunched that you have to prove you will offer them something of value aside from your product knowledge

Me, Me, Me

You can spend lots of time talking about how your solution is going to benefit
the client, but unless you’re doing it in a way that the buyer can latch onto and
believe, your conversations won’t get anywhere

The Three Value Conversations : External Factors

If you can address an external factor before your customers have found a solution to deal with it, you will create immense value and be welcome in the executive suite.

Business Initiatives

If you can find a way to attach your solution to a known business initiative,
you’ve opened the door to speaking to an executive

Financial Metrics

If you are responding to an identified need within the company, it probably already has a
number in mind for what it’s willing to spend to overcome the problem.

What Executives Care About

Increase revenue. More revenue means higher market share
Decrease costs. No one likes to pay more money than he has to
Increase cash flow. Cash is king.

Where to Research?

  • Management presentations
  • Annual reports to shareholders
  • Regulatory filings
  • Analyst reports
  • Social media
  • Trade journals
  • Financial statements
  • Board members
  • Others in the company
  • Articles and press releases

The Maximization Conversation

You are still selling if the question is whether or not you will do business together.

You are negotiating when the question is how you will do business together.

The Conversation Before the Conversation

Value Is Subjective and Can be Shaped

Pivotal Agreements

Have well-planned commitments that you know will improve your ability to differentiate yourself from your competition, expand the deal size, and protect your margins.

Hope you enjoy this book summary for The Three Value Conversations 🙂

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