Insight Selling Book Summary - Insight Selling Book explained in key points
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Insight Selling summary

Michael Harris

Sell Value & Differentiate Your Product With Insight Scenarios

4.3 (24 ratings)
10 mins
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    Insight Selling
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    Insights help a potential customer refine her thinking; they show what the client doesn’t yet see.

    A salesperson is often compared to an actor, with a scripted pitch and a talent for playing to the audience. Yet really, salespeople are more like teachers, standing in front of a class of students eager to learn.

    Straightforward selling, such as offering ice cream to vacationers on the seashore, is just that: straightforward. Yet complex selling requires you to challenge a buyer’s preconceptions.

    Today a buyer can find all the information she needs online to make a decision. So a customer really only seeks out a salesperson when she’s already done her research about a desired product.

    Granted, this might be a smart approach when buying new shoes, but not when you’re looking for a complex solution to a company problem. The truth is, most buyers lack the time and competence to really understand all the possibilities of how a product could benefit them.

    Compare a situation like this with visiting a doctor. You might think you have the flu after looking up your symptoms on the internet, yet the doctor’s diagnosis – considering that he has more insight into the science of health overall – could be something completely different.

    So how do you challenge a potential customer’s preconceptions? By providing insights.

    Salespeople offering complex solutions should slowly guide a buyer to the solution’s ultimate value proposition. This usually involves asking a buyer questions about her company’s needs and concerns, yet also assumes that the buyer knows the answers to these questions.

    But this isn’t always the case, especially if your product is completely a new service that the buyer has no experience with, or is complex. Your customer then should instead be allowed to discover your product’s value through insights. Insights are ideas that refine the way a buyer thinks. The objective of an insight scenario is to shine the light of insight on unrecognized value so that salespeople can sell value and differentiate their product. Value is unrecognized when either the customer does not recognize the true root cause of the problem, or when the customer underappreciates the cost of the status quo or the benefits of the change.

    You can find insights from determining what you think the buyer doesn’t see, or create insights by providing a dramatized version of how life might be with or without your product – somewhat like the “before” and “after” pictures in weight-loss advertising!

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    What is Insight Selling about?

    Insight Selling (2014) sheds light on new techniques for salespeople to win even more sales by setting up scenarios that enlighten the buyer and build trust. By using “insight scenarios,” a sales team can not only solidify sales relationships but also significantly increase sales volumes!

    Best quote from Insight Selling

    Complex selling has changed, because buying has changed.

    —Michael Harris
    example alt text

    Who should read Insight Selling?

    • Sales representatives looking to hone their skills at articulating value
    • Sales managers wanting to learn new methods to help reps achieve quota
    • CEOs who need to improve sales numbers 

    About the Author

    A veteran of Wall Street, Michael Harris is the founder and CEO of Insight Demand, a sales training company.

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