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Chapter 3: Finding Your Champion

 Professional inspiration and subsequent execution stems from passionate foundations.  After listening in on a couple of sales presentations, the take-away I’ve drawn is this: I should seek to inspire a passion for success within each and every one of my clients.  Passion offers the most direct route to motivation.  In the context of sales, connecting with a passionate employee-advocate means that you have found your champion. This particular kind of champion is a rarity.  They have the power, internal drive, and motivation to take your product through the tedious bureaucracy of their company, to upper management, and ultimately put in the work it takes to integrate it into their system.  All it takes to achieve that goal of making a sale, is awakening a passion in each client for the product that you yourself are passionate about.

The presentation that drove this idea home was done by a representative from one of our most successful clients. During a whiteboard debrief of their internal sales process, he explained that nearly everyone they contact shows initial interest in their product. Even so, there is a drop off from from 70 percent interest to 40 percent execution in the transition from stakeholder demo to pitching to decision makers.  This could be caused by a variety of things, but one of the more probable is a lack of passionate champions.  Going from thinking a product would benefit your company, to actively fighting for it by presenting it to management is a dramatic progression.  If passion is lacking as these steps advance, particularly if there is pushback from management, the drop off of champions will be dramatic, as exemplified by this particular client.

This got me thinking, how can I instill passion into my champions?  From what I’ve learned thus far, instilling passion can be broken down into two separate processes: staying relevant and exhibiting devotion for your product.  As an account-based sales agency, we have the resources to stay relevant by utilizing a continued contact approach.  If we can hit the decision maker’s emails, create a buzz, and maintain interest throughout the sales process, then the likelihood of client’s investments in our product sustaining over time is much higher.  The second half of this equation is showing a client that they should be passionate about our product because primarily, it solves their problem: our passion is the most powerful tool we can use in conveying that.  People can relate to excitement, hence the telling phrase, “interested people are interesting.”  If I can inspire the same faith I feel for the necessity of my product or service in my clients, I will be infinitely more successful.  So, how can I find the most passionate champions? For now, all I really know is that if I talk the talk, I’ll be more likely to connect with clients who can walk the walk.

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