10 Sales Fundamentals: Part 4 - Let’s Get Personal

Published on 2023-11-30 byAlex Coupe

In previous sales fundamentals articles we have talked about the critical Business Issue, which when uncovered, can pave the way to a sale of your solution, which hopefully has the impact of removing the barriers that are causing the Business Issue in order to ultimately resolving it. We have to remember, though, that this is a person we are talking to, not a business, and that every person has their own agenda. That agenda is referred to in many sales methodologies as the “personal value” or “personal agenda,” and if you can address it along with the business issue, you are, as they say in the UK, “Quids in.”

To help frame this, think of yourself (as hard as that is) and your ambitions and what might get in the way of them, and then think of your prospect. Could solving the overall business issue also help your prospect at the same time? Typically, they will have personal concerns such as:

  • Job performance (how are they measured)
  • Career Goals
  • Personal Success metrics

The great news is that uncovering someone’s personal agenda uses the same questioning techniques we have discussed before: open-ended questions, probing, and confirming.


How to Uncover the Personal Agenda

Here are some examples of questions you could use to uncover the “personal value.” A quick note of warning: DO NOT attempt to gather this information the first time you meet someone. You must first establish trust as the questions are quite personal in nature, but doing so is equally important as if you can combine “personal value” and “business value” that is an extremely powerful combination.

Open: Q: How is your department and ultimately your own performance measured?

A: There are a variety of ways, but essentially my performance is measured by meeting KPI’s that are directly related to ensuring the success of our internal customers.

Probe: Q: How does that affect you personally?

A: Ultimately my success is my team's success, so being aligned to the success of our internal customers is extremely important.

Confirm: Q: Solving the business issues of your internal customers will ensure the success of your team and ultimately your success. How would that affect you personally?

A: I have been working on my development, and by successfully rolling out the solution we have been discussing, it could mean a promotion.

Assuming you get close to an answer of this nature, this adds a lot of power to your ability to provide value based on the solution you can offer. You have ascertained that the solution you’re selling will not only help the business solve a critical problem, but also improve the likelihood that your prospect will achieve a personal goal. If you can show that this sale will help them achieve that, your chances of success improve exponentially.

It's crucial to approach personal inquiries with sensitivity, building trust before exploring job performance, career goals, and success metrics, but once you have done so exploring this channel of conversation with your sales prospect can be particularly rewarding.. By connecting the resolution of the business issue to individual concerns, such as personal development and career advancement, your solution becomes a powerful pathway to both business success and the achievement of personal goals for your prospect.

Next time, we’ll delve into the all-important follow-up email. (This is a game-changer!)


About the AuthorView Profile
Alex Coupe

Alex Coupe

Global Head of Sales Legaltech Hub

In the 1990s, Alex embarked on his sales career in Silicon Valley, fuelled by the elusive dotcom IPO dream. Although that dream didn't materialize, he gained invaluable knowledge from seasoned sales professionals and swiftly realized that employing a consultative sales approach yielded superior results.

In the early 2000s, Alex decided to explore new horizons and transitioned to the legal services industry. He secured a position with Practical Law Company, where he crossed paths with Jeroen. Later on, PLC got acquired by Thomson Reuters, providing Alex with an opportunity to spend over a decade in diverse sales and leadership roles across the entire TR legaltech solutions portfolio. Throughout this period, he continued to leverage his consultative sales skills to lead successful teams.

Drawing from more than 35 years of sales experience, Alex recently joined Legaltech hub in April 2023. His primary objective is to establish the sales function from the ground up. Embracing this fresh challenge, he looks forward to applying his expertise to cultivate a high-performing sales team that will drive remarkable results.

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