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SNAP Selling

Speed Up Sales and Win More Business with Today’s Frazzled Customers

By: Jill Konrath

Reviewed By: Bob Ruffolo

People today are busier than ever before. Despite the fact that technology has made life so much easier for us, we live in a culture that loves being busy, so it’s not likely that people will be slowing down anytime soon.

With most people constantly feeling frazzled and distracted, it’s hard to gain the attention of prospects to sell our products and services. Thankfully, Jill Konrath has set out to provide a solution to this problem in her book SNAP Selling: Speed Up Sales and Win More Business with Today’s Frazzled Customers.

“SNAP Selling” is a formula that you can model when approaching your persona with your product or service. SNAP is a loose acronym that’s explained below:

  • S -- Keep it simple. The easier you make the decision-making process for your persona, the more successful you’ll be.
  • N -- Be invaluable.There are too many similar products and services in the marketplace, what you bring to the relationship is crucial.
  • A -- Always align. You have to stay relevant to what your client or customer is doing right now or they won’t want to make time for you.
  • P -- Raise priorities. You have to create a sense of urgency for your product or service or your persona will keep putting it off.

Because people are busy and the average customer (B2C or B2B) is more savvy to marketing tactics than ever before -- prospects naturally have their guard up when approached by a company.

They’re immediately trying to decide if what you're offering is worth their time even hearing about, the hassle of implementing it, and finally, if what you offer is the best option available.

This book will show you how to get in your persona’s head and address all of those questions quickly and if you’ve done everything correctly, they’ll feel that they made their own conclusions about you without your influence.

It sounds like manipulation, but really it’s just smart marketing psychology that addresses the most common concerns in a purchasing decision at the right time.

It sounds like manipulation, but really it’s just smart marketing psychology that addresses the most common concerns in a purchasing decision at the right time.

The SNAP Sales Toolkit

The SNAP sales toolkit allows you to understand your buyer persona, their decision-making process, and how to apply the SNAP methodology.

Understand How Frazzled Customers Think

People today have busy schedules and they’re always looking for ways to fit more activities into smaller windows of time. This might have positive effects on productivity, but it also makes people more frazzled.

As a result, people have become more:

  • Anxious -- People want to get to the bottom line immediately to decide if your product or service (or your pitch for that matter) is worth their time.
  • Distracted -- Some prospects will continue to type away while they’re on the phone with you or they might appear to be listening, but they’ll be in another world in their mind thinking about something else they have to do.
  • Resistant to Complexity -- People are wary of anything that seems complex, risky, or time-consuming and will be very hesitant to make a quick decision if what you’re offering doesn’t appear simple to use.
  • Demanding -- As a salesperson, you better know your product or service well. People have no interest in wasting time with someone that they think is incompetent or unprofessional.

People are frazzled and under a lot of pressure, even if that pressure is self-imposed. You have to take the time to understand how to bypass these barriers in your buyer persona or else your message will go unheard and you’ll remain completely off their radar.

The SNAP Factors and SNAP Rules

Frazzled prospects will be asking themselves four questions about the product or service that you offer:

  1. Is it simple, will it take a lot of time or effort?
  2. Does this company or person add value?
  3. Does this align with what we’re trying to accomplish?
  4. Is this a priority or can it wait?

The four SNAP factors (and rules) directly address these four questions.

Keep it Simple. Your goal is to simplify everything as much as possible. Your sales message should be simple and your product or service should be easy to understand (based on how you present it).

Be Invaluable. Your buyer persona wants to work with an expert who specializes in their field. Present them with new and creative ideas on a regular basis -- ideally, you want to become a resource of information to them. At that point, you become invaluable to them and the choice between you and your competitor becomes obvious.

Always Align.  You need to immediately establish an obvious connection between what you’re selling and what your persona is trying to accomplish. Your persona doesn’t care about you or your brand until they understand what’s in it for them.

Raise Priorities. Your persona is bombarded with sales pitches and marketing materials from lots of other companies. You have to do everything you can to ensure that your offering is the highest priority. This is going to require ongoing attention because your persona’s priorities will change over time.

Get Inside Your Persona’s Head

Brands that sell more successfully know their ideal customer -- who they are, what they do, how they think, and what they want/need.

There are four steps for getting your in customer’s head and seeing your product from their perspective:

  • Identify key decision-makers: Find the individual or team that has the final say in purchasing decisions.
  • Complete a buyer’s matrix: By answering all of these questions, you will have insights that explain the pressures and challenges your persona faces when making a buying decision.
  • Create several buyer personas: These are profiles of your most common and ideal customers. Buyer personas help you stay consistent and relevant with your marketing message and sales process.
  • Conduct a “mind meld”: This is a practice where you step into each persona and predict their reactions to the methods you are planning to use on them. This allows you to test and fine-tune your sales process.

Buyer’s Matrix

Name  _____________________

Title _______________________

Roles and Responsibilities
What exactly is he/she in charge of or expected to manage?
Business Objective and Metrics
What does he/she want to achieve? How is that success measured and evaluated internally?
External Challenges
What external factors or industry trends might make it more difficult to reach his/her objectives? 
Strategies and Initiatives
What strategies and initiatives are already in place to help achieve the objectives? 
Internal Issues
What issues does the organization currently face which might prevent or hinder achievement?
Primary Interfaces
Who are the peers, subordinates, superiors and outsiders with whom he/she frequently interacts?
Status Quo
What’s the current status quo with regards to your product, service or solution? 
Change Drivers
What would cause him/her to change from what is currently being done?
Change Inhibitors
What would cause him/her to stay with the status quo, even if they’re not happy with it?


Map the Decision-Making Process and Use

There are three important decisions that your buyer persona will make when they consider building a working relationship with you. Using the information that you’ve gathered, it’s up to you to make these decisions easy for your persona to make, and ideally, you want these decisions to work in your favor.

Decision #1 -- Do I allow this person access?

To get your persona interested enough to invest their time in hearing what you have to say, you have to move them from being oblivious to curious.

To accomplish this you need to:

  1. Craft a value proposition that follows the four SNAP rules and appeals directly to your buyer persona.
  2. Identify a trigger event that you can attach your message to. This can be an internal trigger (bad quarterly earnings announcement, product launch, etc) or an external trigger (new legislation, natural disaster, etc).
  3. Create your message that starts with who introduced you to your persona and a relevant trigger event that you know about, what your value proposition is, and your call to action.
  4. Prepare for follow-up communication by knowing which rebuttals you will need to address, offering further details on an issue you raised, and having testimonials ready to share.

Decision #2 -- Should I initiate change?

Humans are resistant to change and especially in organizations, where change disrupts the status quo, it can be difficult to get everyone on board. With this decision, you are trying to move your persona from being complacent to being committed to change.

To inspire commitment from your buyer persona, you will need to present your business case that clearly addresses the following three concerns:

  1. How long it will take for the company to recover its initial investment.
  2. The total value or return on investment.
  3. All of the direct and indirect expenses associated with implementing your product or service.

Decision #3 -- How do I select the best use of our own resources?

To close the sale, you will have to convince your persona that you are the best option for them. You will need to move them from being open to different options to becoming certain that you are the best option to invest their resources in.

Helping your persona make this decision requires that you analyze the SNAP process and make sure that you have executed it properly and that you continue to do so.

  • Help them decide by providing them with the key factors worth considering.
  • Collaborate with them as if they were already customers.
  • Show how the costs of not buying your product or service outweigh the costs of implementing it.
  • Provide case studies, testimonials and/or referrals that prove your value.