Sales and Marketing Performance Blog

SaaS Selling Skill - Reversing the Security Question

Posted by Mark Gibson on Mon, Nov 09, 2009

If you are selling, marketing or supporting SaaS solutions, the number one buyer concern and a question that will come up in every conversation is "how do you handle security?"

Nothing short of excellence is required in handling this question - but before you can answer it, you need to reverse it to figure out where the buyer is coming from.

Buyers often ask surface-structure questions, which conceal their underlying concerns either consciously or unconsciously and if we don't reverse them, they often reappear later in the sale as objections. The following Flash illustration is excerpted from the Advanced Marketing Concepts, Selling in the Internet Age eLearning course and may take a few seconds to load. 


Reversing is a linguistic concept and one of the most important concepts for sales, marketing and customer-facing support people to master. Anyone familiar with the Sandler selling method will be very familiar with reversing.
Reversing enables us to understand the buyer's context or underlying reason for their question prior to giving an answer by simply answering their question with a question.

We are trained in school and by our parents to answer whatever question we are asked to the best of our ability, unfortunately in sales and in customer-facing support roles, this can create many difficulties, unless we understand the context of the buyer’s question.

In customer-facing roles, whether in sales, marketing or technical support, the most important question you will ever ask is the one you ask to reverse a prospects question...same applies for managers and executives.

Marketers and sellers on Webinars please take note: Reversing is critical when handling Q&A in front of an audience or in a live Webinar…we have all witnessed sales, marketing and technical people digging holes for themselves in front of large groups by answering what they thought was the buyers question; - only to get completely sidetracked and potentially irritating the buyer, certainly wasting valuable audience time.

Reversing is a Salescraft skill and like most valuable sales skills it takes deliberate practice to master. We need to get into the habit of reversing around the office and with our loved ones until it becomes ingrained.

There is probably no other language technique that will provide such a dividend as reversing. Simple to learn, but needs practice - please take the time and effort to master this discipline.

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Topics: Saas, communication

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