Anytime you are asking people to buy something you are asking them to change something. And we know how we all feel about change, right? When you think about what you want in terms of asking people to change something, you can see why it may require a different approach.
My sales pearl of wisdom is that people buy for their reasons, not yours. So, instead of giving people all the reasons why they should buy (based on research marketing gave you, what other people have told you) – ask questions to find out the client’s perspective first. Great salespeople sell solutions, not stuff. To sell a solution you must first find the problem.
Start with finding out how they feel currently about what they are using. Are they happy with the current product/service?
- If not, this is the answer you are looking for! Ask questions to get an understanding of what is not meeting their expectation and listen for areas where your solution fix or improve the outcome. Here is where you define the problem and gain an understanding of what is broken and why it is important to the customer. Here are some examples.
- When this doesn’t work properly, what are the implications to you?
- What would an ideal solution look like?
- How would this work in an ideal scenario?
- What are you losing (profits, time, efficiency) because of your current situation?
You can use what you learn to tailor your offer to what matters most to this customer.
- If yes, you aren’t out of the game yet – but it’s going to take some work. Find out the things that they are the most pleased with and what impact that has for them. Then, ask them additional questions to determine if you could get them a better outcome or enhanced performance, would they be interested. Examples here may sound like:
- What do you like best about your current situation?
- If you could improve your results by x%, what would that enable you to do?
- If there were features you could add, what would they be and why?
This step is critical. Without a finding, establishing, or creating a person’s need, you are telling and not selling. Just save your breath.
Great salespeople use questions to first understand what’s needed/wanted and the urgency. Without this information, you are simply trying to get lucky selling, rather than being good at it.