I’m often training and helping business owners tweak their sales processes. In this post I wanted to share 3 techniques that I have found especially valuable for me as a business owner.
Design Your Process
You need to have a process that you take your prospects through that doesn’t change from sales call to sales call.
Yes, you’re going to constantly improve it. But the fundamentals don’t change.
This process is how we figure out what’s working and what’s not.
If you don’t have a clear cut process, you will never be able to tell what is working and what’s not.
So, my biggest tip is “You gotta have a process”.
If you don’t already have a prospecting process that generates predictable revenue click here to grab our Prospecting Blueprint, with step by step instructions, list of tools & implementation checklist to create (or refine your existing process).
Identify Their Compelling Reasons
Most small business owners spend so much time focused on their product or service. That is a huge misconception.
Your prospect doesn’t care about your product/service, they don’t care about what you do or how you do it.
They care about what they’re struggling with.
You’ve got to get great at understanding their pain.
“What is their compelling reason to take action?”
If you don’t take the time to understand their pain, you will struggle to get good at selling.
If you want to be a master salesperson, forget about your product and service.
Forget about what you do.
Think about what your prospect, their pain, what makes the hurt, what problems are they trying to solve…
By understanding that and focusing on their aim, you will get far better results, and your clients will love you for it.
Everyone is thinking “what’s in it for me?”. And far too often salespeople think about what’s in it for them, and they miss the opportunity to deliver value.
Now that we have those out of the way, let’s talk about the 3 Techniques I promised to share.
Hats off to Sandler Training for these tips that I have learned through my many years of learning and teaching their training programs.
This is when you decide what the meeting/phone-call is going to be about, or what the relationship is going to be about, and which general direction you intend it to take it.
An upfront agreement is not necessarily a written document, although in some professions (ie: legal) this may be an acceptable way to start a conversation.
Instead, it is a verbal agreement you have with a prospect at each interaction.
There are generally 3 components to an upfront Agreement:
– How much time do we have for today’s phone call?
– Is there a hard stop/or is timing flexible where the meeting/call could keep going if need be.
– Confirm you have permission to ask questions of the prospect (this may be especially important dependent on the type of information you are gathering, but generally speaking it conveys respect).
– Permission to end the call if you are not the right fit.
– What is the goal of this meeting/call?
– What is the expectation
Instead of just starting the meeting and diving in, make your prospect feel comfortable, and get rid/clarify any confusion/expectations they may have before the meeting begins.
You are also setting an expectation on the experience they will have when working with you in the future.
In essence, laying the ground rules for how you are going to work together.
The Thermometer Close
Most people will get on a phone call/meeting and realize they haven’t the faintest idea where your prospect is at.
are they aware of the impact you can create for their life/business/problem?
Are they ready to dive in and talk pricing?
The Thermometer close helps you gauge where they are at.
Most people don’t think in black and white.
Solutions to the challenges they face don’t always fall in the “yes or no” categories.
Therefore, in order to gauge where they are at, we use what is called a Thermometer close – a scale to help describe their preference.
Ie: On a scale of 1 to 10, One being they don’t want to see or talk to you again and 10 being they are ready beyond a doubt to start working with you, where is your prospect at?
By posing a question in this way, we are also leave room to ask more questions that would help us explore why they felt a certain way, and provide clarification if needed.
I use this method all the time, not just in sales calls, to get a clear understanding of what the other person is thinking/feeling.
It’s a way to help people quantify where they are at internally so that we can move forward with closing deals.
This one is a simple tip yet, one that we often don’t utilize.
The best thing you can do when it comes to sales is learning to embrace silence between the lines.
Giving more opportunity to your prospect to speak so you can gather as much insight as you can about his/her challenges and how you can step up to help.
When you plan the silence well you prompt the other party to fill the void.
It is an amazing tool. Because you open up the opportunity for your prospect to tell you exactly what they need.
And sometimes convince themselves why they need what you have to offer.
For example, don’t answer every question.
Instead of giving the solution right away ask more questions about what has worked for them and what hasn’t.
Silence, let your prospect fill in the void, with their own ideas.
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