How Will This Buying Decision Be Made?
Three-quarters of the secret to professional, strategic selling boils down to asking the Best Questions and listening carefully to the answers. Most of the Best Questions have to do with uncovering the crucial, underlying needs your products or services might serve. But you also must know how to sell to a particular account. Using the same strategy for all customers is a big mistake. The issue is: how do you compete for this customer's business?
How do you know the right way to sell a customer? You ask.
For instance, you need to know when to time your sales calls, who to call on, what to present to each individual or group who will influence the buying decision, and how the decision ultimately will be made. How do you learn all of this? You learn these answers by asking questions early in the game.
Competition: Whom are you competing against for this sale? Once you know, you can ask targeted questions to draw out specific needs that you can resolve but your competitors can't. And when presenting features and benefits of your products, you can lead with your specific competitive strengths.
Time Frame: When does the customer expect to make a buying decision? More importantly, when does the customer want to begin to reap the benefits expected from the purchase?
Buying Influences: Who controls the budget? Who analyzes the technical aspects of your product? Who will be responsible for making your product work correctly in the organization? This information tells you which features and benefits to stress to which audience.
Buying Process: How will the buying decision actually be made? Who must be “sold" before the transaction can be completed? Which criteria will be most important in the decision?
By getting clear answers to these questions early in the process, you can develop a strategy that will shorten your sell cycle, allow you to anticipate and defuse objections that otherwise would arise later, and make a lot more sales.
In The Field:
Veteran salespeople are often astonished (and a bit embarrassed) by the brave new world that opens up to them after they learn to ask the Best Questions.
The day after an Action Selling Sales Training Workshop at Eaton Cutler-Hammer, the southern regional sales manager received an excited voicemail message from one of his account executives.
"I put one of the selling techniques of Action Selling to work today on a sales call and was amazed, " said the account exec. “By knowing how to ask the Best Questions, I uncovered additional opportunities that I never knew existed!"
Duane Sparks is chairman and founder of The Sales Board, a Minneapolis-based sales training company that has trained and certified more than 200,000 salespeople in the system and skills of Action Selling. He has personally facilitated more than 300 Action Selling training sessions.
In a 30-year career as a salesperson and sales manager, Duane has sold products ranging from office equipment to insurance. He was the top salesperson at every company he ever worked for. He developed Action Selling Sales Training while owner of one of the largest computer marketers in the United States. Even in the roaring computer business of the 1980's, his company grew six times faster than the industry norm, differentiating itself not by the products offered but by the way it sold them. Duane founded The Sales Board in 1990 to teach the skills of Action Selling to others.
Contact The Sales Board for more sales information or sales training that's been documented and research-proven to help you sell more! 1-800-232-3485