For your customer, it’s not your product that is exciting, it’s the fixing of THEIR ISSUE that makes the product exciting.
If everyone has great products and services then competition shifts from who has the best product to who can best improve the customer’s operations, and that’s what you need to be thinking about.
To uncover their issue you need great questions.
Questions are the key to modern selling. However, there are still some salespeople who push against it, who think that a successful presentation is a matter of putting their case logically. Their presentations are flawless, their logic superb, their evidence overwhelming. If they were barristers they would be at the top of their profession. But what they don’t realise is that they’re not selling – they’re telling.
Forget the tell and develop the ask
If you tell people why they should buy, if you give them all the logic, all the reasons why they should go ahead, and you do it with enthusiasm, you will make some sales, but those people would probably buy anyway. Whether you like the description or not, you are in the role of order taker.
Don’t fall into the trap of spending too much time telling customers about your products/services and not enough time asking them about their requirements and uncovering their issues. While revelling in the plusses of your offering may be fun, collecting information is likely to be more worthwhile.
Benefit rotated questions
Questions not reasons are your main persuasive skills. So instead of telling the prospect what you can do for them, take each ‘benefit’ and rotate it into a question.
For example – “This projector works well in high ambient light”. Rotated into a question this becomes – “Do you have any difficulties with projected images being washed out in high ambient light?”
Here is a useful sales training exercise you can use to get started: Think of the product or service you want to sell more effectively and then, step one: ask yourself ‘What does my product or service solve?’ List everything down – really think it through. Then, step two: rotate each statement into a question – and ask these questions as the sale unfolds.
Your Critical Issue Question
When preparing for a sales call, one ‘must’ is to devise what is called a critical issue question. Think about your target customer and ask yourself – what is the key issue they are likely to have?
Then rotate your answer into a question – your critical issue question – which should begin with “Are you grappling with any issues around?” OR “Are you concerned about any issues around?” For example “Are you grappling with any issues around how your sales team can achieve target in today’s environment?”
The most persuasive way of transferring your ideas is through questions. Resist the temptation to tell people what you can do for them. Instead, ask them what difference it would make.
Back in the tumultuous days of March 2020, our resident presentation skills team were wondering how to adapt the LDL Presentation Skills programme to the new remote working environment. At the time, we didn’t know if the transition to remote learning would be a temporary, or a permanent change. A year later, it seems like
Top salespeople know it’s the mind game that makes or breaks them, especially in the new normal. Timothy Galway in his inner game books says, the theory of the inner game is that our performance is dependent on our state of mind, therefore the real game is to get into the right frame of mind and hold ourselves there.
The great philosopher Mike Tyson famously said, “Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the mouth”. Well, Covid has been a punch in the mouth for many of us. It has made leading a team harder than ever before. How do you lead when you can’t see your people, when you have reduced incentives, constant change and many other challenges?