The Strategic Approach to Selling Cloud Services: Anticipation

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Guest Author

This post was contributed by guest author Chris Peterson, Co-Founder & President of Vector Firm.

You’ve identified the right target client for your services. And you’ve actively listened to their issues and questions, taking time to ‘cloud-educate’ them so that they’ve softened to the idea. So, what’s the next step to move this friendly scenario closer to closing the sale?

I like to sum it up this way: the good ones listen, the great ones anticipate.

In my 4th video of this series, I share how, as sales professionals, we need to understand where the conversation is going. Hockey legend Wayne Gretzky put it perfectly. “A good hockey player plays where the puck is. A great hockey player plays where the puck is going to be.”

Unless you’re already enjoying a very long-term relationship, clients usually aren’t too open about their thought processes. It’s our job to anticipate their needs, so we can become the heroes who meet them.

Let me illustrate the anticipation concept using the car shopping process. After you’ve spent some time narrowing choices down to a couple potential vehicles, suddenly you find yourself noticing those

exact models everywhere you go—even in your favorite colors. They didn’t just magically appear out of nowhere. They were always around, but they’re more obvious now because your mind is anticipating them.

In the same way, you should be so aware of what your clients see as their problems that you easily spot opportunities to provide their solutions.

A customer is rarely going to make it so easy for you as to say, “My IT department is driving me crazy. Any ideas?” You need to train yourself to perk up and take note whenever hints—however accidental—are dropped:

  • “I’m so frustrated by unexpected expenses popping up all the time.”
  • “IT is overloaded and service takes forever.”
  • “We are constantly hiring and training new people in IT.”

For those of us in managed services, these are conversation starters that could lead to business-closing dialogues—something I’ll walk you through in the next and final part of this series.

Your Action Item

Make your own list of anticipated client needs, so you’ll be ready to act the next time a customer drops ‘the big hint.’

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