There are probably as many sales approaches as there are sales people. And one thing that is often up for discussion is gut feeling versus structure – which is best? I am taking a closer look at this!

To only trust your gut feeling won’t take you very far…

Both I and many others at Lundalogik are strong advocates of having the next step planned. We would even say that it is a requirement! Even though you leave a sales meeting with the best gut feeling ever, you won’t come very far without a structure. It’s like, “now what?”.

Planning is therefore vital for your sales process: it gives you a head start and your work is more streamlined. You don’t have to think about what to do next and what the customer might be expecting. You also reduce the risk of anything falling between the cracks. Andreas has, for example, showed how you can book the next step already during the meeting and put reminders in Lime Go so that you are always one step ahead.

Psst! Structure is not just for the work with existing customers – it’s just as important during other parts of the sales work. Who wants to stumble in the dark, looking for new customers or follow leads that won’t really lead anywhere? In our sales schools we review how you structure both prospecting and qualifying.

…but then again, structure won’t either

To have a sales process with clear goals and phases is vital. But another, just as important, requirement is that you know your customer. You need to understand how your customer likes to do business and which are the decision-makers in their organisation – formally as well as informally. That’s when the gut feeling comes in handy

You also need to use your gut feeling to understand how the customer feels about you. Fact is, chemistry matters: the most common reason for a customer to leave a business relationship is because they feel ignored. So it’s not because:

  • The customer has received too little information
  • The customer is unhappy with the product or service
  • A competitor is better

It’s because the customer doesn’t feel attended to. So read the situation and let the gut feeling guide you in your meeting with the customer. Look deeper into the situation and look at it from their perspective. Are there any unsaid expectations or fears?

How to create the optimal mix

“But wait a minute” you might be thinking, “should I have both structure and gut feeling?” Yes, I’d say. And no, it’s not a contradiction. This is how I see it:

By having a structure and a plan for your sales process, you don’t do anything in vain. You know how to prepare for a meeting of telephone call since you know what you want to gain from it. But whilst talking to the customer it’s important to read the situation in order to adapt and find the optimal solution for both.

It’s pretty simple: the optimal sales approach is the one that unites the best of structure with gut feeling. It’s not “one or the other”, it’s about planning in order to feel. Or what do you think?