Der Yeti

16. März 2018

Vieles im Leben wäre so einfach, wären da nicht „die Anderen“. Immerhin hilft es meist enorm, wenn wir die Anderen, ihr Verhalten und ihre Motive einschätzen und uns darauf einstellen können.

In Verhandlungen gleicht die Gegenseite oft dem Yeti, dem unbekannten Wesen. Selten bekommen Menschen die wahre Gestalt des Yeti zu Gesicht. Mit der EVEREST-Methode wird das möglich! Wie, das habe ich mit meinem Partner, Jörg Pfützenreuter, 60 Teilnehmern auf einer Abendveranstaltung des bme* in Frankfurt erzählt.


bme: Bundesverbandes Materialwirtschaft, Einkauf und Logistik e.V.


There are many approaches to selling. To me, this is the best and the most satisfying: Help your business partner to achieve their goals:

„For a culture that spends so much time and money buying things, you’d think we’d be more excited when someone tries to sell us something. But we’re not. The semantics are important here. What we really mean is, „are you trying to selfishly persuade me to buy something that will benefit you more than it benefits me?“

… The magic happens when the goals are aligned, when the service component of sales kicks in, when long-term satisfaction exceeds short-term urgency. When someone acts in a way that says, „can I help you buy something?“ or, „can I help you achieve your goals?“ then we’re on our way. And of course, it’s the doing, not the saying that matters the most.“ (Seth Godin, post on Dec. 21, 2017)

Happy Holidays!


Focus on the base!

9. November 2017

BasislagerOrganizations pamper and challenge the few in the executive suite …“ That’s what we see every day at work, and that’s what we read in the news as well. Seth Godin thinks the reason for this is „that it feels more dramatic, seems more controllable and is ultimately easier.“ (The real law of averages, posted Nov. 3rd., 2017)

„If you want to raise the standards of any group, improving the top of the heap isn’t nearly as effective as focusing your effort on the base instead.“

But is ist also effective? Think about this: If every one of the thousands of customer-facing employees was more motivated, more kind, it would have a huge impact.

Eine Empfehlung für die deutschsprachigen Leser: … was Mittelständler aus der aktuellen Bildungsdebatte lernen können. Schon 3 Jahre her, aber immer noch top-aktuell!


Abbildung: Everest-Basislager,

In B2B, products and services are not always self-explanatory, and this is one reason why many vendors have been slow to make significant investments in online sales channels. They often focus on a qualified salesforce to explain their complex solutions face-to-face to their customers.

But new research by McKinsey indicates that B2B suppliers cannot choose between a great sales force and great digital assets and capabilities. To drive growth, they need both.

Here are some of the key findings:

  • Industry sector is not a factor. What determines the channel of choice is whether or not the buyer is making a first-time purchase.
  • The majority of buyers still asks for the expertise of a salesperson when making about first-time purchase decisions.
  • Online functionality will have to meet expectations for speed set in the B2C world. Buyers are frustrated if they cannot complete a repeat-order easily.
  • Be they online or off, B2B buyers want an immediate response. Slow response times are by far the biggest frustration for buyers, bigger even than pricing issues!

Investments in digital assets will indirectly help the sales force meet customer needs, freeing them up from dealing with routine inquiries. So, they can devote time to help customers with more complex needs, as well as seeking out new customers.

Relatively simple tools will help salespeople directly, for instance to track customers’ previous questions and help anticipate needs. Virtual product demonstrations on a tablet will assist in a sale. Customer-segmentation and value-proposition engines help sales representatives build tailored offers in the field that quantify the value for the customer. And as in the online world, advanced analytics can prompt buy recommendations.


At what point should you mention your price? As Mark Stiving puts it, the correct answer is “it depends.”

However, if there is one guideline on this topic it is this: Communicate price only after value is understood.

In most B2C sales situations customers see the price of the product immediately. Consumers often already know the product, the brand and the quality – and decide if the price is worth it. In automobile-sales though, it is a negotiated deal. The (good) salesperson doesn’t just quote you their best price. Instead, he will try to figure out how much you are willing to pay.

This same thinking transfers to B2B pricing as well. In B2B sales we often use direct salespeople. The most important role of a direct salesperson is to communicate the value of a product to the buyer.

If we can lead with price, we don’t need a direct salesperson.

If you agree with that, your salespeople have to listen to their customers first, and then communicate value to the buyer. Only after that, they should quote prices. If you sell a product where the value is already known—think office supplies—the price can be delivered right away. In all other cases: never lead with price! Or as Mark says: „When a salesperson leads with price, either we have scared a customer away or we have a price that’s too low. If we can lead with price and don’t scare the customer, … we don’t need a direct salesperson … .

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