If you are a sales person or a business owner in charge of selling your product or service, having effective sales meetings is your life blood. Especially during a tough economy like we currently have, the success of your business is contingent upon making the most out of your opportunities. Here are four things that you must do if you want to have a successful sales interaction:
Identify The Problem Or Challenge Your Customer Is Experiencing
The first step to a good sales call is to help your client or customer identify the current problem that they are experiencing. Sometimes this is a challenge, as your customer may not even be aware that they have a problem! The key to successfully identifying the issue at hand is asking the right questions. Start by asking open ended questions like, “what is your biggest business challenge?”, or, “what is one thing that keeps you up at night as it relates to (insert your product or service here)?”. Then start drilling down with more specific questions to really help your potential customer better understand exactly what their issue is, and what problem that is causing them.
Help Them Create A Vision Of What Is Possible
Now that you have identified the problem at hand, the next step is to help your customer create a vision of what is possible. Again, you do this by asking a powerful question such as, “what would you like it to be like?”, or, “if I could wave a magic wand and you could create your idea solution for your problem, what would that be?”. If your customer is not sure what this looks like, you can make it a collaborative discussion by brainstorming or giving them some ideas as to how your product or service might help them. By helping your customer create a vision of what is possible, you are creating a gap between where they are now, and what is possible for them. It is within this gap that the value of your product or service lives and breaths! Without a gap, there will be no interest in what you are offering. Additionally, by helping your customer see and describe the possible solution, you are creating a positive vacuum that will pull them forward. Very powerful!
Ask Them What’s Getting In The Way Of Making Their Vision Reality
Now that you’ve created the vision for what their solution might look like, you need to assist your customer in identifying what’s getting in the way of them having what they now want. Again, if they aren’t experiencing any challenges or road blocks to achieving the solution, they don’t need you! So, this is also a critical step. In fact, the bigger the challenges are to them, the more value your product or service has. The higher the value, the higher the price you can charge. As before, asking great questions will help you help them. You might ask them, “what’s getting in the way of you achieving that?”, or, “what are your biggest challenges or road blocks to solving this problem?”. This process allows you to better understand what you need to help them with, and it also helps them identify what’s getting in their way.
Find Out What Value Your Solution Has To Them, Personally
The final step is to find out how valuable it is to your customer to actually solve their problem. You want to do this in a way that has meaning to them personally, and, if possible, has an objective measurement to it. “If you were able to overcome your challenges and achieve the solution to your problem that we discussed above, what would that mean to you personally?” is a great question to start with here. You can utilize more clarifying questions to put a dollar figure to that value. For example, “if you had to put a dollar figure to it, what would that be?”. This is a great question to determine if you’ve done your job properly. If your potential customer sites a figure that is larger than what you will charge them for your product or service, you’ll likely have a sale. If not, they don’t see enough value in your solution. Keep in mind this simple formula for success during this step, which is:
Perceived value – cost of your product/service = likelihood of sale
The bigger that gap is, the more likely you will have a new customer!
If you focus your sales interactions using the four steps above, and ask great questions, you will find that you maximize your chances for success!
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