Knowing how to use this one simple technique allows sales professionals to outperform their colleagues and clobber the competition and the best part about it – it takes just one change to what you are already doing.
While value propositions are the foundation of your sales initiatives, ‘trigger events’ are the grand catalysts as they provide irresistible messages for your target customers. These events are what change browsers into buyers.
As an example, for a manufacturing customer, if a production machine breaks down, threatening orders that have already been placed, new capital equipment is suddenly going to be a priority.
Trigger events have the ability to shake the dreaded ‘status quo’ to its very core. What was acceptable yesterday, is no longer acceptable today. Problems suddenly need urgent solutions. Fresh approaches dominate discussion.
If your prospects trigger event can be solved with your company’s product or service, and you are able to capitalise on this, suddenly you:
- Gain access to decision makers in an instant
- Shorten the sales cycle significantly
- Win business with little competition
- Close more profitable business as customers are far less price sensitive
When your product or service is aligned with your prospects business goals and your prospect is focused on this as a priority, selling became a whole lot easier.
When you take a look at this list of potential trigger events (not a complete list), start to ask yourself how your product or service could help solve these problems:
Internal Trigger Events
- Poor or excellent quarter earnings
- New strategic initiatives
- Rapid growth or decline
- New product launch
- External investment
- Expansion into new markets
- Floating on stock market
- Mergers and/or acquisitions
- Personnel changes in key positions
- Lost customers
- Job creation
- Relocation of offices
External Trigger Events
- New changes to laws, regulations
- Natural disasters
- Changes to competitive landscape
- Trends impacting customers
- New technology
- Economic conditions
- Cost of commodities, raw materials, oil etc
- Cost/availability of borrowing
If any of these internal or external events affect your prospects business, doors become open wide if you can create messages that talk directly to the problem.
When you consider a trigger event (from the ones listed, or from other thoughts you have had), its time to start thinking about your solutions in relation to the event. You can start by thinking about these three areas:
- Common goals, objectives or strategic imperatives which would affect your prospect
- Consider the wider implications to your prospect
- The message (in relation to your solution) your prospect is highly likely to respond positively to
- All in light of one or more trigger events
Some of these events will be newsworthy, either through the press or on your prospects own website. However, keeping up with these events can prove time consuming and the power of trigger events is to get in fast. Therefore, ensure you have google alerts set up for all your key prospects. You can also use your prospects RSS feeds to keep up to date with developments.
There are also subscription services which provide sales insights for this very purpose. As these will be paid services, it’s worth evaluating each one in terms of cost, value, relevance and how this system will tie in with existing systems.
Those sales professionals who believe in the power of trigger events are the ones dominating their market, as they ensure their approach to key prospects is aligned with the prospects changing circumstances and is also responding to their priorities – both reasons why prospects become customers.
Think about recent events which proved to be real trigger events: the collapse of Carillion, Toys R Us, Maplin, the strike at the steel works in Port Talbot, Brexit, changes in data protection laws due to take affect in May 2018…etc. Those who are tuned in to trigger events and use them to their advantage, also bring enormous value to their prospects, turning them into raving fans which in turn increase referrals.
There is little downside to trigger events, as long as you craft powerful opening statements which align to the business issues and you strike while the iron is hot – time is of the essence with trigger events, and if you don’t move fast, you can be assured your competition will.