5 Ways to Ensure you Stop Telling and Start Selling
Do you believe selling is about telling a good story and educating your prospect? Or, do you believe it’s about making a unique connection and letting the prospect discover that you have something they need? Understanding your answer to this question is essential to your success in sales. If you believe you must first get a prospect to like you, and then educate them on all the ways you can solve their problems; then you will likely do a lot of telling the prospect how your way is better than what they are currently doing.
On the other hand, if you believe that prospects buy for their reasons, not yours, then you will likely focus all of your efforts on asking educated questions to uncover their motivations to act. As a result, qualification will become the primary goal. You will begin to ask leading questions, probe for root causes and help the prospect make connections between how your product solves their problems and creates a positive impact on their business.
Most people love to buy, but they hate to be sold. Once you start telling people what they need you have halted the selling process. You are telling and not selling.
Here are some tips to keep you selling and not telling.
- Scrub away your assumptions. The moment you assume you know the problem the prospect is trying to solve or that you have the answers that they are looking for this is the moment you start telling and stop selling. All products and services are designed to fulfill a need or solve a problem. It’s easy for us to assume that we understand what a prospect’s problem is just because they answer a few of our questions or get excited when we show them something interesting. Assumptions can be deadly. Don’t assume, let the prospect tell you where it hurts.
- Consider why something was said not what was said – Prospecting is hard. When you finally get someone who is willing to take your call or meeting they are apt to say; “I would love to learn more about you’re offering, tell me about it.” We take the bait and launch into our pitch. This is a trap. They said they were interested, but do you know why? What are they doing today that’s not working? Do they have a relationship in place and thus only want to be educated? Your knowledge is your leverage and it should not be wasted on those who can’t or won’t pay for it.
- Create an environment of mutual agreement – Set some ground rules with your prospect so they understand how your selling process will work and give them the option to participate. The prospect always wants to be in control so don’t try to wrestle control away from them. Tell them you appreciate their interest and desire to learn more. Ask them if they are willing to answer some questions for you before you respond to their requests. If they are not willing then they are likely not a prospect. Selling is a mutual exercise. You will need them to describe what’s creating their need, who’s involved with decision making if a change is appropriate. Most importantly, are willing and able to commit to making that change.
- Uncover their emotional needs - not their intellectual needs - Science tells us that people are motivated to act for three reasons. 1. They are in pain 2. They fear pain or 3. They are seeking pleasure. These are emotional states. People and organizations buy based on emotions and then justify those purchases intellectually. When selling to organizations uncovering those emotions can be complicated but, the principle of finding pain still holds. Where do the centers of pain reside? Whose job is on the line if this problem isn’t solved? What’s the impact if nothing is done? Will they loose a bonus, miss a promotion or be replaced if they don’t find a new way? Go deeper and get to the emotional level.
- Let the prospect do the arithmetic - People only remember about 15% of what they hear but 85% of what they say. If you tell someone what the value of your product or service is there is a low probability that they will agree or even remember it. If you allow the prospect to think through their challenges and do the math themselves, the value they reach in conclusion may or may not be in your favor but it’s their value. If the value they reach is not in your favor then they are unlikely to invest in you or your product. Let the prospect come up with the value and the impact from their investment. You may be pleasantly surprised by their answers.
Come visit one of our sessions and learn how we can help you stop telling and start selling. Contact us today>>