With close to 30 years in sales, one common mistake that I continually observe is that many sales people consistently make is to talk way too much. In trying to differentiate themselves from the competition, these sales people share a common sales belief that talking to the prospect is a way to convince him or her of their product or service expertise. Unfortunately, this places the focus on the sales person and not the needs of the prospect. Big Mistake!!
One of the quickest ways to change this belief is to center on the customer’s needs. When the focus is on the customer, then the sales person can begin to facilitate a dialogue. Through a series of open-ended questions, the future customer can share what the real needs are and more importantly what obstacles have prevented success.
These obstacles or what some may call pain is where selling success begins. By identifying all the pain, the effective salesperson can begin to build a results based message by asking a question like: “If I could help you overcome that obstacle, how would it make you feel?” A common response is “Great!” A follow-up question might focus on the value such as “What would overcoming that obstacle be worth to you?” Fill in questions may include one to two words such as: “So…. ?”; And…?; “But…?”; What’s Important?” Again, these types of responses continue the focus on the client and not on you, the salesperson.
As a small business coach , I suggest the following book: The S. P. I. N. Selling Fieldbook: Practical Tools, Methods, Exercises and Resources by Neil Rackham to learn how to develop or improve the sales skill of asking open ended questions. Good sales people know how to provide the right answers when prospects begin to ask their own questions to ease their now abvious pain.
Another strategy that I learned from one of my coaches to help you stop telling and start selling is to take a sheet of paper and divide it into 4 columns. In the first column list what you sell; in the second column list the benefits of your product or service; in the third column list what makes you, your product or service unique; and in the last column write down the results from using your products or services. So when you must talk, you will now be specific and focus on meeting the prospect’s needs.
Remember, if you are telling, you are ain't selling and are missing many additional opportunities for sales success.
Leanne helps individuals, small businesses and large organizations to double performance in real time. Click here to learn the Secret of Success and sign up for a free monthly newsletter. Please feel free to contact Leanne at 219.759.5601. If you truly don't believe doubling your results is possible, read some case studies where individuals and businesses took the risk and experienced unheard of results.
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