As a New Home Sales Professional and a consummate student of gaining new information and studying habits, it is abundantly clear to me that the Old Sales Process needs a facelift.
Virtually every sales training class is based on the following cycle:
There are obviously many ways to re-word these terms or add other fancy synonyms, but the end message is the same as the above. The dynamics that I propose to change are not about altering the goal of the sale, but a better way to gain a trust building conversation.
So often in the typical sales cycle, Sales Professionals are given scripting methods for pre-determined questions or perhaps a long list of “good" questions to ask for “Discovering buyer needs" or “Qualifying and Closing related Questions. "
I'm not opposed to asking good questions at the correct and most opportune time for the buyer, but I do disagree with asking the wrong question at the wrong time.
What I mean is this: In watching countless shop tapes and listening to numerous sales presentations, what I see is NOT that people don't ask all the questions the sales model says, it's that they are asked at the wrong time only to feed the sales agenda of completing the sales cycle.
The end result is a more confused, frustrated and annoyed buyer that feels drained and beaten. If you have ever wondered why you feel a twinge of angst or apprehension before walking into any sales arena, (Car, Home, and Retail) it's simply the pre-determined notion that the person doing the selling DOES NOT CARE about you.
Could it be because virtually every sales training program teaches the same general method? Perhaps if there was a different, more buyer focused method of Selling-(Helping), the buying-selling dynamic would change from a less guarded struggle to a more open and dynamic conversation.
In today's world, buyers are savvier, more independent, and more knowledgeable about EVERYTHING! Many at some point in time have been in the same sales training as you have, so they know what you are TRYING to do.
So what is my method? What do I propose?
Instead of having pre-determined questions in your head or scribbled on your notepad to ask, focus on listening and responding instead. I am NOT saying do not be prepared and focused on taking the conversation down the path towards a sale, I am saying be LESS focused on TALKING and more prepared to LISTEN.
HINT: The Only way to make sure this NEW listening focus happens is to rid yourself of the habit of asking the same mundane pre-determined questions.
When the current sales model was first introduced many years ago, times were vastly different than they are today. If sales are down and you continue to do the same thing over and over and expect a different result that defines INSANITY!
This Listening Focus is virtually the exact opposite of the normal sales process. But guess what?
IT WORKS!! People care about themselves, their friends, and their families and do not have time for your agenda and sales method of talking and talking and talking some more.
Before a potential buyer ever walks in the door of a sales office they are well versed in the products you offer and that of your competition. They have some knowledge of the typical sales process and the pre-determined questions that will be asked. They know the sales persons agenda in advance and will be guarded and defensive until the sales person proves them wrong.
Being equipped with this knowledge, wouldn't it make sense to CHANGE the sales approach?
It has become commonplace to hear sales people talk of their current day struggles as negative economic perceptions influence buying patterns. I hear stories of buyers being more aggressive towards sale people, less willing to talk, and less willing to part with their hard earned money.
If this is the case, perhaps it is time to shift to a more Buyer Focused Agenda?
Instead of calling my approach a NEW sales process, I would prefer to think of it is a New Buying Cycle. Nobody wants to be sold, but everyone wants to BUY!
To shed the notion of the non-caring sales person, and improve the Buying Cycle, this NEW approach needs to resonate and take hold across all sales industries from homes to cars to retail, would you agree?
TIPS TO THE NEW BUYING CYCLE
Forget about the scripts and pre-determined questions you want to ask.
Prepare yourself to Listen-NOT to talk.
When a Buying Prospect asks a question, answer it and Piggy-back your next question from their previous question. This is conversational and natural.
Be in Control of the path, but ALLOW the buyer to choose the road.
Change the agenda from Sales Focused to Help Focused FIRST and sales will follow.
Curt Fletcher, is the author of “How To Sell More Homes and Increase Your Income. " His goal is to help people gain confidence in their own abilities and maximize their full potential in creating success, wealth and happiness. To book Curt for a meeting, conference, or event, contact Curt Fletcher via email firstname.lastname@example.org