The Truth Behind Linear Selling : Why It Can Make Prospects Run The Other Way
Sean works for a major telecom company.
During one of our coaching sessions on how to master Unlock The Game™, he told me, “I’ve been diligent about following the sales process that my company believes is required to make a sale — but, for some strange reason, my prospects don’t want to fit into that process.
Here are some suggestions about what to say and do in a sales situation.
* Integrate trust-building language into your conversations with prospects so they’ll feel comfortable telling you where they are at in their process.
For example, saying “Where do you think we should go from here?” invites them to tell you the truth, while “Why don’t we set up a next appointment to discuss our next steps” gives the impression that you’re trying to take control.
* Rather than asking prospects overtly what their decision making process is, use softer language that they can understand from their perspective.
For example, “What specific gates do you anticipate you’ll need to go through as you consider the proposition of purchasing the software to solve the business issues we discussed?”
* Don’t probe or “fish” for prospects’ “pain” as part of your sales process. Prospects have learned through long experience that the appearance of caring is usually a verbal ploy designed to move the sale forward according to the salesperson’s agenda. Instead, speak genuinely and with sincerity to what you know their core business issues are. You can find out what these are by getting in touch with customers who have already bought your product or service and asking, “What three or four business issues drove your decision to buy our product?”
Chances are, your new prospect will be dealing with similar concerns.
Consider these ideas, and try these practical suggestions. They helped Sean feel better about letting go of the old ideas he’d been taught.
Maybe they’ll do the same for you.