In any personal interaction, there is some relationship. It could be good, bad or indifferent, but there is a relationship. Velcro might be the only thing more mysterious than building relationships, but one thing is certain, selling depends on the relationship between the buyer and the seller. The probability of the sale being made moves up or down in direct proportion to the strength of the relationship.
Show you are more interested in understanding him or her than you are in selling your product or service. The best way to do this is to ASK QUESTIONS until you are certain … that the customer is certain … you thoroughly understand the depth and breadth of his or her needs.
Trust must be established in the mind of the buyer before any purchasing decision will be considered. You can have the cheapest price on the best product in the world, but if customers don't trust you, all you have is a lot of unsold stock.
This means that a professional discovery (or qualification) process is a mission-critical ingredient in any sales process.
We know from experience that if I addressed an audience of 100 salespeople and asked them what they felt they most needed help with most … by far the biggest majority would say CLOSING. As a direct result I have developed a simple Three Step Process which will deliver higher sales conversion ratios when selling anything to anyone, but first, you must understand my 3rd law of selling … Discovery Determines Trust.
If the potential customer answers no to one or more of the following questions, the sale is un-closable!
This applies to the potential customer’s operational constraints . . . will the goods or services do the required job/satisfy the potential customer's requirements? All salespeople MUST ask questions to discover the potential customers' operational constraints early in the sales process.
Every potential customer has financial constraints and bear in mind that some are prepared to pay a premium for added value. The only way to establish if the goods or services are within the potential customer's financial constraints is to accurately qualify a budget which … the customer gives the salesperson, not the other way round … also early in the sales process. In cases when the purchase involves some form of finance, the monthly payments must fall within the potential customer's financial constraints. It follows that the cash price is NOT the deciding factor from the customer’s point of view. Examples of where this might happen are:- House or property purchase, motor vehicles, caravans, high-value goods. In such cases the potential customer’s monthly budget MUST be established early in the sales process so that any goods or services introduced to the customer, fall within their price constraints. Most salespeople do it the wrong way round … they get a customer excited about a product then work out the payments … I believe this is high-pressure selling, don’t you?
All salespeople MUST have an obligation to their employer to sell the best possible goods or services that their employer can provide, taking into account the employers statutory obligations. There is no point in selling something for some other company.
Now ask yourself this:
Q: Why do people buy ‘things’?
A: Because they probably weren’t sold to.