Insight Selling | Mike Schultz

Summary of: Insight Selling: How to Connect, Convince, and Collaborate to Close the Deal
By: Mike Schultz


In today’s constantly evolving sales landscape, buyers are assigning value to salespeople who provide new insights and valuable information to help improve their businesses. In ‘Insight Selling: How to Connect, Convince, and Collaborate to Close the Deal’, Mike Schultz examines how selling techniques have transformed and provides a roadmap for becoming a successful insight seller. The book covers ways to engage with buyers through interaction and opportunity insights and explains how insight selling is an advanced form of consultative selling. Schultz also shares the RAIN selling approach, helping salespeople build rapport and focus on buyers’ aspirations and afflictions.

The Power of Insight Selling

Selling has drastically changed, and buying decisions are no longer solely based on the cheapest product. The buyers now value salespeople who provide unique insights rather than sales pitches. The internet has empowered buyers to access ample information about products and services. It has made it difficult for salespeople, as buyers have become more skeptical and difficult to contact. The new buyer mindset presents new and more significant challenges to salespeople that most often fail to meet. The buyers are now demanding more than just a sales pitch and prefer working with insight salespeople who offer valuable insights and useful information that improves their business profitability.

The Power of Insight Selling

Insight selling is an advanced consultative selling approach that involves creating and winning sales opportunities with new ideas. It is built around the RAIN selling approach, which stands for Rapport, Aspirations, Afflictions, Impact, and New Reality. Insight sellers develop strong relationships with their buyers and provide them with valuable insights and a unique point of view. By focusing on aspirations and solutions, they become a significant part of the buyer’s value proposition. Insight selling is a powerful tool for change agents who want to help buyers achieve their goals and reach their full potential.

Insight selling is more than just asking buyers a lot of questions. It involves developing new ideas through interactions between the buyer and seller and inspiring buyers to take courses of action they weren’t previously considering. There is no value in a product or service if the buyer doesn’t buy it, and it’s up to the seller to bring forward the idea and demonstrate the buyer’s benefit. Insight sellers strongly advocate their point of view and are change agents that move buyers out of their comfort zones.

The RAIN selling approach is central to insight selling. It involves the development of rapport, focusing on aspirations and afflictions, discussing impact, and juxtaposing the unhappy current state with a desirable future state. Insight sellers use the RAIN strategy to connect with their buyers, convince them of superior value, and collaborate with them in a win-win relationship.

Insight sellers have a three-pronged approach to the buyer’s value proposition: resonance, differentiation, and substantiation. To become a significant part of the value proposition, sellers should focus on aspirations as well as afflictions and work towards inspiring buyers with possibilities they hadn’t been considering.

The power of insight selling lies in its ability to create strong connections with buyers that engender trust, which is essential to selling. Insight sellers communicate their unique point of view through expertly crafted sales conversations that demonstrate how their offerings solve buyers’ problems. They use the power of story to connect with buyers intellectually and emotionally and collaborate with them in a win-win relationship that leads to more sales wins and higher margins.

In conclusion, insight selling is a powerful tool for salespeople who want to create and win sales opportunities with new ideas that matter. It involves developing a unique point of view that engenders trust and inspires buyers to take courses of action they weren’t previously considering. By focusing on aspirations and solutions, insight sellers become a significant part of the buyer’s value proposition and collaborate with them in a win-win relationship that leads to more sales wins and higher margins.

Characteristics of Successful Insight Sellers

Successful insight sellers possess specific traits that enable them to establish trust with their buyers. They are passionate, assertive, and curious thinkers with a strong emotional intelligence. They bring a sense of urgency to their performance goals and are known for their perseverance, integrity, and business acumen. These traits, combined with a mutual bond of trust, are necessary for the insight-selling process to succeed. Without trust, buyers will not accept insights from salespeople.

Understanding and Winning over Different Types of Buyers

In today’s market, buyers fall into two categories: problem-solving and future seekers. Both types come in distinct personalities. This summary discusses six basic profiles of buyers and strategies to make a successful sale.

Nowadays, buyers are more informed and prepared than ever before when engaging with sellers, thanks to readily accessible information from the internet and other sources. Buyers can fall into two basic categories: problem-solving or future-seeking. Problem-solving buyers aim to improve their company’s operations, while future-seeking buyers aim to expand them.

The summary then goes on to identify six distinct buyer profiles and suggests strategies to increase the chances of making a successful sale. Decisive Danielle, the driver, prefers to deal with equally direct and decisive sellers, so offering an opportunity insight and demonstrating ROI can help close the sale. Consensus Claire, the committee chair, wants to ensure all parties involved are in full agreement. Patience and an emphasis on goals, objectives, and expected results can help close the sale.

Innovator Irene, the maverick, is highly creative and welcomes innovative ideas. Stressing the value of a change agenda can help close the sale. Relationship Renee, the friend, values relationships above all else, and getting other buyers within the organization involved can help close the sale.

Skeptical Steve, the guardian, is cautious and never embellishes. Communication should be primarily by email, and comprehensive information and no exaggeration are necessary to close the sale. Analytical Al, the spreadsheet, looks at every angle and needs time to evaluate everything before making a decision. Providing comprehensive, detailed information and being patient can help close the sale.

In conclusion, understanding the different types of buyers and their personalities and using appropriate strategies can increase the likelihood of a successful sale.

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