Your mission as a sales person should be to find companies that have immediate wants and needs. This means that something happened or is happening to them - a move, a merger, new investors, etc. You have to look for any event that might create the opportunity for you, or better said you are looking for event that can trigger the sales for you.

It could be something internal or inside the company, like a new direction from management, a merger or an acquisition, rapid growth, or maybe a new product introduction. And it could mean the company is turning “Green” and needs new and different supplies and services.

It could be external or outside the company, like the new strategies of their competition or new legislation (Sarbanes- Oxley Act). Maybe even a natural disaster, which is a well-known external trigger for many customers.

Generally speaking, trigger events have effects inside the whole company. Suddenly new needs are recognized; previous decisions need to be revisited. Very often, management becomes aware of new priorities and changes the direction of the company.

Trigger events are extremely important when we are in the search mode, looking for our next customer, and when we need to identify our sales opportunities at a particular company from our target list.

Every company has something new happening. Maybe they improved or reintroduced their products or service. There could be new faces in the boardroom or on the sales floor. A new office may have opened up in the Midwest. A new vendor or strategic partner could have been added. Even new money or investor may come into the company.

Most important for a buyer is that the provider understands the buyer’s situation, needs and business.

Every change in the business environment causes a search for new suppliers or new service providers, and your main goal is to be in front of qualified buyers when they are ready to buy.

In these situations, I would say this is almost the perfect position for every sales person. You know there is something happening with the accounts from your list of targeted accounts and you know that as it happens – perfect timing is a key of success many times. This is equally true no matter if it is with small or large companies.

An example of the above is a situation where through your trigger event research you determine that your customer is planning to switch its ordering system to one of the new software solutions. So you know there is something going to happen. Whether the company is large or small, it can be perfect timing for you to be able to provide products and services to them using that kind of ordering/sales process.

How to use that information?

When you get the information related to a trigger event, you need to adjust your approach so the benefits of your products (or services) are closely related to the trigger event, and you are able to show your customers that you can create a value for them early in the buying process.

This is a good way to start working on the relationship and developing the customer’s perception of your value to them. This means when you speak with the decision maker and if you know exactly what this trigger event is about, you will be able to tailor your story and the benefits of your product in a way that sounds appealing and is related to the customers’ growth trigger event.

You need to adjust your presentation in the way to recognize that event and to present your offering in the most effective way.

Questions you will ask on your calls or meetings with prospects will be targeted towards their needs and you will be able to demonstrate your understanding of business situation. That should bring you step closer to get the deal done.

You definitely want to discover their hot buttons and why they could be on the market now for your products or services. Also you should find out why they are qualified now, at this particular moment, and why you should be very active with this prospect.

It is actually very simple - when you show your prospects that you actually care and you have done your homework and you know about trigger events happening inside their company (new CFO, merger and acquisition, bad 3rd quarter…) you also show them that you are interested about their issues, and most importantly concerned about their wants and needs.

You will create interest in their eyes because you are different then anyone else who contacts them who is simply trying to sell something without really understanding their needs.

When you know about different trigger events it will be much easier for you to ask questions that lead to uncovered customer’s needs and buying motives, and to put them in the market even if they feel there are not buying anything now.

If you try to make a sale without necessary information about your customers, you are just shooting blanks in the air, hoping to hit something. With full information about your prospects situation you will be able to sell easier, and that is the main purpose of this article (and my blog) – to help you to find your next customer in a much easier way for you, and yet maintain a professional, knowledgeable approach.

All needs are easy to understand once they are discovered; the point is to discover them.

Author's Bio: 

Alen Majer consults and trains businesses and salespeople on a variety of topics ranging from science to art of selling - from improving sales process, prospecting activities, and successful needs discovering, to developing better customer relationships, improving credibility and relationship building skills so much needed in 21st century selling environment.