Too many salespeople seem think they’re job is to go into an appointment with a prospect and sell them something (anything!), when in reality their job is to simply help the customer buy what they need.
Too many salespeople apparently think that if they keep talking and talking and talking that they will eventually wear the prospect down to the point that they’ll sing a sales contract simply to shut them up, when the reality is if you’d give the customer a chance to talk about the challenges they are facing and the problems they are trying to solve, you’d have the chance to help them buy the solution from you.
You want to win more business on your sales calls?
Ask your prospects better questions and then shut up and let ’em answer!
Remember those test questions from kindergarten and 1st grade where you’d get a two columns of images and you’d draw a line to connect the images that matched each other? You’d have one column of animals (a dog, a cow, and an elephant) and the other column would have locations (a doghouse, a barn, and a jungle) and you were to draw a line from the animal to where it live (you’d draw a line from the cow to the barn, etc.)
This is similar to the way a customer will tell you what they want to buy.
When you’re listening to a prospect talk about the challenges they face, keep a running list of those problems (equipment breakdowns, missed service appointments, and late delivery of supplies) and begin creating a list of solutions that your company offers that would be a match to solve each problem (loaner equipment while machines are being repaired, guaranteed on-time or it’s free service contracts, and next-day delivery on all supply orders).
When your customer is done relating their troubles to you, now is your chance to shoot those problems down with the lines you’ve drawn to your available solutions to those troubles.
Now it’s simply a matte of helping the customer choose which of those solutions they’d like to buy first. They expressed a specific problem and you proffered a specific solution to that problem.
What could be simpler?
They’re either serious about solving the problem and they buy — or you haven’t successfully uncovered the real problem, and that means you need to go back to asking even better questions and listening even closer to your prospect’s answers.