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The second step of the commercial teaching framework addresses how to reframe an opportunity. It is hard to influence an opportunity in a well-defined frame. One of your biggest tasks is to provide a superior frame for the opportunity at hand.
Fulfill ask or deliver beyond expectations
Sales have been about fulfilling customer expectations and needs. This task is becoming more difficult in uncertain markets. Not only for you as a seller but for the buyer as well. This situation opens up a new opportunity to start influencing your clients mind earlier than in the past.
Set your ambition to deliver beyond your client’s expectations. This journey starts by defining a better frame for the opportunity. A frame that is better than your client’s original frame. As well as being better suited by jour agenda. The effort of reframing the opportunity and getting your client to buy in is hard. It only makes sense if you are better to deliver on the promises of the new frame.
The key elements to exploit are to focus on business aspects and aspects that are specific to your client’s situation. Non business aspects and generic situation descriptions is not enough as a foundation for a new frame.
What make reframes possible
To provide a better reframe you need to focus on new things. Underestimated problems result in a too low priority by the client. Unrecognized drivers can change the direction. Unrecognized problems and alter the problem box.
When defining a new frame you are dependent on new perspectives. Not yet known to your client, or shared among all your client’s stakeholders.
Focus on specific business insights to make predictions of the future
Build the new frame on business insights tailored to your client’s needs. Insights derived from your insights about your clients’ expected gains and existing pains. Global insights applied and focused towards the most important gains and pains.
The most valuable insights are the ones built up by number and a hypothesis on what you transform from and what you can aspire to reach. The numbers are vital in turning statements into action.
An essential part of your task is to support your client in predicting the future. The best insights you can provide are the ones predicting the future for your client. Predictions of the future business outcome of actions you take today.
The art of moving your client’s mind
As CEB laid out in the initial model your task as a challenger is to move your client’s mind beyond their original thinking. A task that is tricky for individuals and get s more complicated as you target a buyer group.
To move their mind you need to be clear over where they are and how you want to reframe their view of the future.
Your fact passed business predictions is your tool. Each prediction will be them closer to your end-goal for the reframe. And together they will be strong enough to mover your customers minds. Be aware of the vast some of your customers are best influenced by words, others by numbers and some by visuals. To successfully move their minds you most likely need to provide a reframe with elements from all three formats.
Questions for you and your team
- Which gains and pains are in play for the opportunity at hand – a reframe effort without a clear view of gains and pains is hard to pull off.
- What is unknown to your client – look for unonown problems, underestimated problems and unrecognized drivers.
- Which business insights do we have to map towards gains and pains – leverage you whole customer base when searching
- How can we make the insights specific for the client at hand – each client’s situation is unique and only part of the
- Which business predictions can we articulate – based on action taken now delivering a given business result in the future
Suggested additional reading
- How reframing problem unlocks innovation [ARTICLE] – by FastCompany
- How to reframe your thinking to sell your business idea [ARTICLE] – by Nadia Goodman, Entrepreneur
- Reframe problems with these 5 questions [BLOGPOST] – by Jason Dorsey, Success
- Three ways to change your customers’ mind [BLOGBPOST – by CEB
- Insight selling – Challenge the status quo and create value [BLOGPOST – by Insight Demand
- Reframe your thinking Framework [BLOGPOST] – by Z Factor Gorup
- How marketing and sales will be more data driven [BLOGPOST] – by Lattice