According to Sales Guru Carson Heady, the “Holy Sales Trinity” consists of your company, your customer, and you. You have to understand what is a win for each of these people and prioritize them. You have to understand their priorities, key timelines, perspectives, budget, milestones, etc.
As you work through a deal, you have to tie everything to the spirit of the partnership. Your responsibility is to understand the process so you can communicate clearly and execute the plan (which we cover in-depth in episode #321 of Negotiations Ninja). It also includes a clear understanding of your customer’s why.
Understanding the customer’s “why”
How do you uncover your customer’s “why?” You’ll rarely hear it directly from them. A deal is the byproduct of a symbiotic relationship. You have to start by earning the title of trusted advisor. It doesn’t happen overnight. You have to show up with value. You have to differentiate yourself from competitors. You do that by investing in and nurturing the relationship. You have to communicate and be transparent.
Through that process, as you develop your relationship, and show your client what you’re investing, you’ll earn the right to understand what’s important to them. You’ll earn the right to learn their why. What else can you do?
Old fashioned research
You can mine their social profiles, see what they post about on LinkedIn, look at company reports, read industry magazines, etc. to decide where you need to show up to gain their trust. Carson does everything he can to show up with an informed perspective. But he needs the end result to be a customer that’s willing to share those things with him.
Sometimes if you ask what their motivators are, they either don’t tell you, or they give you a surface-level answer. Then you have to probe. It helps to prepare things a customer might have as a motivator and ask if it’s relevant to them.
Carson is a believer in probability. The biggest deal he’s done was because he knew major executive stakeholders. He got numerous introductions. It puts you in a position of strength. There are always variables that you can control. Creating good relationships gives you the highest probability of success. It starts with understanding what matters to your customers.
Why Carson earned the title “Salesman on Fire”
Any salesperson learns lessons as they go. You have to be a lifelong student. It’s about creating genuine relationships, having a growth mindset, and getting back up when you get knocked down. You may be crushing your goals and then fall apart. Sales as a career is about resilience and perseverance and chasing goals.
“Salesman on Fire” was inspired by one of the most challenging experiences of Carson’s career. He could’ve given up. But he fought back and was nicknamed, “man on fire.” Everyone goes through an experience that defines them. It’s their “moment of truth.” Carson’s experience defined who he became. It’s the process of forging yourself into who you’re going to become.
Carson spent years fighting to get back to where he thought he should be. He wasn’t as successful as he felt like he should have been. He felt like the perception of him wasn’t strong. Carson changed his entire approach and doubled down on what worked. Obsession beats talent every time.
You have to look at the playing field and understand what works, what gets you paid, and what was a win for everyone. Then you deliver that win. After that, Carson won some of the biggest awards in his organization and was promoted multiple times. That was the turning point in the second half of his career.