“It’s really, really tough out there.”

Burke expains that who the industry is selling to is changing.  Companies are now selling to finacial buyers.  This leaves companies at a disadvantage if they don’t appreciate Value Based Selling.

“The people in senior capacities… have become largely unskilled,” Burke said.  There has been a phenomina where executives may have no real experience with the products you’re trying to sell them.

So what matter’s to companies if they don’t even know what they’re buying?  Burke says it falls into three catagories: Business Results, Customer Satisfaction, and Cash flow.  To become someone who can sell these things effective, Burke provides seven steps.

1: Executive motivations: the companies motivations (how it represents itself in the market), Individual motivations (compensation structure)

2: Identify Business Initiatives: list every project with a code name, try and find out every meeting and its subject, rate by commitment of time

3: Where a executive spends his time is what’s important

4: Joining it all up

5: Map the business value

6: Fine tuning the method

7: rehearse explanations of value

The point is to treat the who you’re selling to as investors instead of buyers.  By examining what the company values, you have a better chance of selling to them.

“If you can’t connect the thing you sell to how they benefit quickly enough, you don’t know it well enough,” Burke said.