Posted on 21 September 2011.
Many sales people make the mistake of pitching their solutions too early in the sales process. They end up doing a features and benefits dump on their prospects, this has been referred to as “showing up and throwing up”.
The problem with this strategy is:
- A Prospect may not care about all your features, they care about the value that you can add.
- Your benefits may not be benefits from their point of view.
- If a prospect is slightly interested, their focus may be on price rather than value
To avoid these potential problems sales people need to qualify the prospect in every which way and “earn the right” to present solutions. To do that you need to fully understand their buying motives asking pertinent questions to find out what problems (current or future) they may have or what they are trying to gain.
How to earn the right:
- Ask questions so that you understand their needs and then really listen to their answer
- Be consistent and committed, offer solutions that will help them and their business.
- Make it easy for them, email or phone them rather than wait for them to come to you.
- Put their interests first, if you do not get the sale now, they may be a future prospect.
Often the prospect will not be focused on their problems or not realise the potential gains they could be achieving, by using a Consultative Selling approach a sales person will be able to ask questions to focus the prospect and help them discover the impact. When this happens the prospect is often more motivated to be looking at solutions. The sales person now needs to ask the prospect how committed they are to looking at solutions. If the sales person gets an agreement, they have “earned the right” to present a solution and are well positioned to sell on value.
Boost your sales ability with a Consultative Selling approach. Find out more about SalesStar.com Consulative Selling program, click here.
Paul O’Donohue & The Sales STAR Team
Posted in Sales Strategy
Posted on 25 August 2010.
I was at a friends place recently, he joked with his 16 year old son that his father was the milk man. His son said “what is a milk man”? My friend and I looked at each other and laughed, we must be getting old it was not that long ago that we had milk men delivering milk to our homes, oh how times have changed.
In the same time frame the milk man has disappeared into obscurity new technology “the internet” has changed the way many people buy products and services. The internet has evened the playing field enabling prospects to know more about our products and services and our competitors product and services than the sales people.
As our products become more commoditised in the eyes of our prospect, how do we create a clear point of difference over our competition? The answer lies with the sales persons approach to selling. The key differentiator between you and your competitor is the sales persons ability to ask questions.
Features and benefits selling is dead, just like the milk man it now serves no purpose, after all you’re only going to tell the prospect what they all ready found out from the internet. The future of selling now lies with a more consultative selling approach (similar to a customer centric, or solution selling), it is the ability to put the customer first, before you solutions, the art of asking question to understand where customers may have pain and where you can add value to their business.
Customer don’t want to know how much you know about your products, they want to know how much you care about them. When sales people ask good questions about the prospect business it comes across as caring, understanding and wanting to add value. This can quickly position the salesperson as the trusted advisor or the industry expert, and this is often the point of difference that can set apart the good from the great.
For more information about consultative selling click here.
Paul O’Donohue & the Sales STAR team
Posted in consultative selling
Posted on 06 May 2010.
When we understand why people buy we can enhance our chances of making a sale. So why do people buy? Because they have a need or a want? Yeah ok , but what is behind the need or want? What is their primary reason they want to buy from you?
Fundamentally people buy for two reasons:
1, To avoid PAIN
2, To GAIN something
Research indicates that buyers are 3 times more motivated to avoid PAIN than to gain something and people buy emotionally and defend it logically.
Effective sales people are always looking for their prospects immediate or future pain, in order to sell solutions. They are able to ask great questions so the prospect discovers their own pain and then magnify it by focusing questions around the impact of the problem.
When prospects discover their pain and moreover the impact it has on them personally or the company, they can get emotionally involved and therefore increasing their buying motivation. Excellent sales people will ask good questions to stir up emotion and gain commitment from the prospect to fix the problem before presenting solutions.
Walking prospects through a “Pain Funnel” can lead the prospect to discover and magnify the pain. The Pain Funnel process goes something like this:
Once the prospect has mentioned a problem:
Sales Person: That sounds like a problem
SP: How long has that been a problem?
P: 2 years
SP: Who is impacted by it?
P: Staff, clients etc
SP: How much do you suppose that cost you (time or money)?
P: Thousands per month
SP: Is that a lot of money to you?
SP: How does that make you feel?
P: Frustrated (emotion!)
SP What have you done to fix it?
P: We tried several things but nothing worked
SP: On a scale o 1-10 how committed are you to fixing this problem (gain commitment)
SP: Would you like me to show you a solution that could get rid of this problem?
P: Yes please
Contact us if you want help creating a pain funnel. Or for further information on a consultative selling process click here.
Paul O’Donohue and The Sales STAR Team
Posted in Sales Management Tips