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Insight Selling: Surprising Research on What Sales Winners Do Differently by Neil Rackham, John E. Doerr, Mike Schultz

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Chapter 4Insight and Level 1: Connect

We were trying to make improvements to a software we use. I reached out to a tech firm and set up a call. The guy on the phone asks me how we’ve been using our software so I give him the big picture. Right off the bat he proceeds to tell me that the way we’ve been working with it is all wrong and needs to be rethought. He went on with some pitch about a whole new way to approach it that most people haven’t considered that’s creating major advances in results, but he lost me with his arrogance.

First conversation with him and he’s telling me what I should and shouldn’t do after barely asking me a question or two? Maybe they have some special sauce that’s better than the rest, but I’ll get help elsewhere from someone who knows how to talk to people.

—Vice president of account management at a multibillion-dollar companya

This seller may have started out on the right track but then promptly derailed. He believed that the buyer was doing something the old way and that his way was better. He tried to apply interaction insight by pushing back on the buyer’s thinking and current practices and then tried to open the door for opportunity insight, sharing a new way of doing things that would create value for the buyer.

Unfortunately, this seller’s attempt to display both types of insight fell apart with his poor tactical implementation. He failed in two fundamental ways:

  1. He didn’t make a personal connection with the buyer. Quite the opposite, he ...

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