“[Prospects] don’t need someone to try to sell them something, they need someone to teach them how what the product can do for them.”
Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is a useful framework to have in the back of your mind when performing need analysis.
Before you start selling something, ask yourself:
-What are the top 5-10 features of my product?
-What customer needs do these satisfy?
-Why buy it from our company?
Approaching the Prospect
When prospects say no, it’s usually because they were preoccupied. But we are always preoccupied with SOMETHING; break the preoccupation or you will never get attention.
“Your opening question should answer the question: ‘Why should I listen to you?’ It should then generate the question: ‘What is it?’“
If they don’t ask, “What is it?” then your opening question isn’t good enough to get your prospect’s attention and break their preoccupations.
A major prospect concern is that you’ll use high-pressure tactics like all of the other mediocre salespeople they’ve encountered; you must convince them that you won’t.
The most important thing to do in an opening call is to get a solid appointment.
Call to confirm a few days before to inoculate against flakes and make a new solid appointment if something has come up for them.
Never sell your product on the phone – the best thing you have going is CURIOSITY.
If you’re asked to send something, say that you’ll deliver it personally and ask if they’ll be there on that day.
Way of Being
Interacting with people that are too different from ourselves moves us out of our comfort zone.
We stand upright and have attentive body language so we represent our product/business well but also because our prospect is likely to mirror these behaviors.
“The essence of selling is personal vitality.” (so always get a good sleep)
“Smile into the phone.”
Never knock the competition.
One aspect of being a good listener is pausing 3-5 seconds before replying, then ensuring that your reply sounds calm and contemplative.
Great question to elicit further detail: “How do you mean?”
Telling is not selling.
Interpret objections as questions (ie: “I can’t afford it” = “Show me how I can afford it”)
Be prepared for the common objections to your product.
In sales, the term “condition” is used to refer to an unbreakable barrier to purchase, for example: someone with no legs is going to be difficult to sell shoes to.
“Many people, when they voice an objection, think it’s a condition. Your job is to find out whether or not it’s [truly] a condition.”
Hear out every objection, even the one’s you’ve heard 1000 times before.
Compliment people on their objections (ie: “That’s a very good QUESTION…”)
“Did I explain myself clearly?”
Always be impressed with how knowledgable people are on your subject.
Customers will sometimes hold on to objections until late because once those objections are obliterated, they know they’ll have to buy.
Response to non-verbal hesitancy late in the game: “Mr. [Prospect], there seems to be some question in your mind that’s causing you to hesitate about going ahead right now, do you mind if I ask what it is; is it the money?” [price is the most common objection, but prospects are often shy about admitting it; adding "is it the money?" makes it more acceptable for the prospect to admit it]
When asked about the price, state your answer to include all of the benefits – so that in the prospect’s mind, the price is never divorced from the value it represents. For example: “This system, with x, y, and z, and including a, costs…”
“Yes, ours is more expensive than our competitors, would you like to know why?”
Use “if” and “what if” responses to state creative solutions to objections. For example:
Prospect: “Our budget is used up”
You: “Well I’ll tell you what, if you take it now we won’t bill you until your next budget period.”
Eliciting hidden objections, then using them to help you close:
-“…and in addition to that, is there any issue keeping you from going ahead right now?”
-“Just suppose that wasn’t an issue, is there any other reason we can’t go ahead?”
-“If (x condition was satisfied) would you take it right now?”
Let them give you the closing condition.
“Any noticeable change in attitude, posture, or demeanor can indicate that a buying decision is near.”
You have to transition smoothly into the close, don’t take a breather or hesitate for too long.
When you close you should be happy and enthusiastic.
“The only pressure you use in a professional selling presentation is the pressure of the silence after the closing question.”
A man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still.