In this video excerpt from LDL sales training you’ll learn how to uncover a ‘gap’. And how to handle the customer who says “We’re happy with our current supplier”.
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In all sales, in order for your customer to act, there must be a perceived gap between where they are now and where they would like to be, because it is only this gap that allows you to sell. This means you are either looking for an existing gap which the customer is already aware of, or you are looking to create a gap by showing there is a better way.
We can define the gap as: something they are no longer 100 per cent happy with – perhaps they were completely happy but now they’re only say 90 per cent happy – it’s a concern, it’s a drawback, it’s a difficulty, or it’s an opportunity they want to take advantage of.
Developing Your Questions
To uncover a possible gap you use the solution selling questions discussed earlier in the course – to recap – put yourself in a ‘what will it solve mindset’ and list the problems, or potential problems that your product or service will solve, or list the opportunities you can help them to realise. Then take those statements and rotate them into questions. Use the critical issue question you devised earlier ‘Are you grappling with any issues around …..’. These are your initial probing questions.
You have a twofold objective here: Find out what they are doing now, and find out what they are not 100 per cent happy with.
The Magic Wand Question In Selling
Here’s a challenge for you, what do you say when you are talking with a prospect either face-to-face or on the phone and they say ‘we are happy with our current supplier’. Keep in mind the comment may or may not be true, it might just be an easy to use excuse because they’re busy doing something else. How do you handle it? People buy people first, so begin by agreeing with them – be delighted for them – ‘I’m delighted to hear that’ and then go on and use the magic wand you say – ‘may I ask you If you had a free hand to make any improvement you wanted, what would it be?’
They may say ‘we’d like it at half the price’-to which you say ‘fine I can understand that but let’s just set price to one side for the moment if you had a free hand to make any improvement you wanted what would it be’. This question, known as the magic wand is very useful for uncovering small gaps with which you can subsequently work. Another question you can ask in this situation is: ‘Are there any circumstances in which you would consider using another supplier?’
The opposite of the magic wand is the Chokepoint Question – this asks – ‘If there is one thing preventing you from achieving your growth objectives, may I ask you what it is? This question probes for what is holding results back. It is a useful technique that focuses the mind. Suppose I ask you, ‘If there is one thing that is preventing you from blasting through your sales target, what is it?’ What would you say? I am sure your answer would reveal a requirement of some description that you consider essential to doing well in your job. Again, that’s how the sale begins in the mind of the prospect.