Is “Provocative Selling” a Good Thing?

Is it is a good thing in a sales presentaiton to be “provocative” and challenge your prospect to think differently about their business?  That’s the question posed in an interesting post by Niall Devitt in the Sales and Sales Management blog.  

The post suggests that a good seller doesn’t just address what keeps the prospect up at night. A good seller also addresses challenges that the customer is not even aware of.

It talks about moving our thinking and methodology about selling from focusing on “What keeps our customers awake at night,” to “What should keep our customers awake at night.”

I agree, but with a caveat.  You certainly need to address what keeps your prospects up at night. But I love the idea of taking your thinking about your customer a step further and proposing detailed and global solutions to problems. 

Instead of just saying, “I have a plan to stop the leak in your basement,” you need to be saying “Of course, we’re going to stop the leak. But more importantly, we’ve got a plan to reduce your overall water usage, saving you thousands of dollars a year.”

The only caveat is that you need to be careful in proposing your ideas that you don’t come off like you know more about your prospect’s business than your prospect.

However, the best sellers and the best presenters do more than just solve the immediate problem. The best sellers and presenters get the prospect to think differently about that problem.

To my mind, provacative selling is another term for leadership.

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