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A Datapoint is Not an Insight

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There has been a lot written over the last few years about a new approach to selling. This approach has some characteristics that have been used in selling for years—relationships and asking great questions are examples. But this new popular approach has a few differences. For example, instead of approaching a customer to do a needs analysis starting from scratch, the salesperson is told to share an interesting insight and then use that to challenge a prospect with tough questions to get a provocative conversation going.

While discussing this new approach with a client this week, he said one problem he sees his people struggling with is they share a datapoint and think it’s an insight. News flash. A datapoint is not an insight.

If I am trying to help a Toyota dealer sell more FJ Cruisers, I could lead with this datapoint: I read that Toyota dealers are trying to start the process of qualifying for a car online in order to cut the buying process down from 3 hours to 2 hours. That is interesting and shows I am paying attention, but it’s simply a datapoint.

It is not as powerful as this insight: I read that Toyota dealers are trying to start the process of qualifying for a car online in order to cut the buying process down from 3 hours to 2 hours. I noticed on your mobile site that you are promoting the FJ Cruiser and offering a donation to Toys for Tots to anyone who starts the process of getting qualified online. I did some research and found the profile of the Toyota buyer who is most likely to participate in a cause marketing program and I have some ideas on how to use that information to help you sell FJ Cruisers.  

The second conversation starter takes it from an interesting datapoint that many have access to, to an insight that no one else is likely to share. Leading with insights is powerful, but make sure it is really insightful and not just a datapoint!

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Topics: Needs Analysis, Sales