Don’t you love it when you pick up a book and realize in just the first few pages that the author really gets it? Even better, they don’t just get “it,” but offer a fresh and compelling approach to dealing with the specific problem, situation, condition of modern life, etc.?
Well, SNAP Selling: Speed Up Sales and Win More Business with Today’s Frazzled Customers by Jill Konrath is that kind of book. As Jill notes in the book’s introduction, today’s buyers are crazy busy. She brilliantly describes the life of the modern business worker this way:
Before even fully awake, “you’re on the computer checking what seems like an endless stream of email. When you look at your to-do list, you wonder how you’ll be able to get everything done. You have a dozen people to follow up with on the phone, three meetings, and a proposal that needs to be finished…Rather than take a break for lunch, you grab a quick sandwich at the vending machine and eat it at your desk. That way you can update your files and take care of paperwork that needs to be processed. Then you head out for that presentation that you wish you’d had more time to prepare for. After the presentation, you have a ton of questions that now need to get answered before the end of the week…By the time you get home, you’re tired. But rather than turning in for the day, you work on a proposal for a while, then finish up by checking your email one last time. The next day you get up and do it all over again.”
People are reluctant to add anything more to their frenetic schedules, least of all spending time listening to a sales pitch. No matter how compelling the value proposition for the product or service, it involves change, more work, and more time out of an already overburdened schedule. As Jill notes, for sales (and marketing) people in this environment, “what worked before doesn’t work anymore…the advice of many ‘traditional’ sales gurus is now hopelessly outdated…(and) things are never going to to go back to the way they used to be.” SNAP Selling is Jill’s answer to how to market and sell in this overworked and overstressed modern world of business.
According to Jill, today’s buyers make three distinct decisions that sales pros need to aware of. The first is when they evaluate your approach and determine whether it’s even worth their time to meet with you. Once past that hurdle, their next decision is determining if making the change required is worth the cost, time and effort required. Finally, the third decision is, having committed to making a change, selecting the best product / service / vendor for their company.
Jill describes the SNAP selling process as:
Simple (eliminate as much complexity and effort as possible from the decision-making process)
iNvaluable (products and services can be copied; your expertise can’t)
Aligned (it’s crucial to be relevant — always)
Priority (maintain a sense of urgency)
Before delving into the detail behind the SNAP model, Jill notes that “Knowing as much as you can about your targeted prospect is more important than your knowledge of your own product, service, or solution. Most sellers don’t realize this, but it’s true…(but by implementing SNAP selling processes) you won’t have to work as hard as your today to achieve significantly better results.” Now that’s a compelling value proposition!
After describing the SNAP method in more detail, the book walks you through the application of these principals and practices to achieve success in each of the three major decisions (and all of the smaller decisions involved in keeping the buying process moving forward).
Though written primarily for sales professionals, SNAP Selling is equally valuable to b2b marketers who support their sales teams. In the most successful organizations, the efforts of the sales and marketing teams are closely aligned. While the detailed work of implementing SNAP processes will fall on sales, marketing groups can certainly help in areas like research, development of content to support the SNAP process (such as industry-specific white papers and case studies), and even tools to help the sales team execute at specific points in the process. This teamwork is more challenging and rewarding for both the marketing and sales teams that simple mass lead generation and follow up.
In short, SNAP Selling is an invaluable guide to effectively marketing and selling to today’s stressed out, overworked and time-starved business buyers, and beating the competition, by providing relevant and compelling business value at a personal level.