We left off in the last entry with a serious question. Since trying to push or pull the prospect along to a sale results in an inefficient and ineffective sales process, what’s left to do?
This can be a very disturbing question for salespeople. I was in technical sales for several years, and worked with features and benefits selling because that’s all I knew there was. Here’s the kicker: I didn’t know why in some situations I’d get the order, and in others I wouldn’t.
Talk about a weird situation! Here I was, supposedly experienced, knowledgeable about the products and services offered by the companies I worked for…and I had no idea why things worked some times and didn’t others.
Here are some key indicators of sales confusion:
No documented sales process
No sales coaching
Doing a great deal of quoting to prospects who then disappear
Consistently getting squeezed on price.
Trying to push or pull my prospects into buying from me, based on features and benefits, resulted in this situation! Recognize any of these indicators in your own work?
Yes, there is a way to improve your sales efficiency and effectiveness and at the same time eliminate these sales confusion indicators. Remember from the last entry, customers buy from you for their own reasons, not yours! So how do you find out their reasons? Ask Them.
And that process, the systematic and effective questioning of prospects, is the real key to sales success. It’s something different in sales, and hardly anybody does it well or at all. I’ll bet 95% of salespeople have no idea, just like I used to think, that there is another way than features and benefits selling. It takes time and practice to learn. So this is the powerful alternative to trying to push or pull your prospect over the “passion fence” to buy from you: help them find out their very own reasons. Consultative Selling is what it’s called, and it will completely change how you go about the sales process.
Another take-away thought: If they say it, it’s true.