In the last blog, I wrote about why the first 2 steps in sales process, building rapport and discovery phase are so important. In this part, I like to cover the three remaining parts:
Once we have built strong rapport with our prospect, and have actively listened and learned about the problems they are facing, it is important that we put together a solution that provides answers to our prospect’s main concern. Most sales people, present a solution to quickly and they assume that the customer wants the same solution. Part of this is because we don’t listen to a customer well and part of it is because we think that we can change a customer’s mind to our way of thinking. This is where our communication can break down and we end up losing the customer. Another reason, many fail at this stage is the fact that they are not good at presenting the solution to the customer in an organized manner that can easily be understood by them. Also, not having all the information readily available at hand or being distracted by phone calls, messages or other people in the office while presenting is a sure way to lose a customer’s attention in the sale process. We need to also work on our communication skills, choice of words and vocabulary in this section as this is the first phase that we spent more time speaking than asking questions. I recommend to those who want to improve their communication skills, body language, etc. to sign up for toast masters that are available anywhere in the world.
This is a step that many untrained sales professional begin too early in the sales process which leads them to speaking more than listening. The problem with educating our prospects too early is that we cannot educate people without going through the discovery process. In other words, we cannot offer people a solution to their problem when we don’t know what that problem is? Also, educating too early can be a waste of time as the prospect has not demonstrated an emotional attachment to our services and/or products. The detailed education must only happen after we sense an emotional commitment from our customers and only after going through all of the previous steps thoroughly.
The closing is most dreadful and scary step for many people. Yet some people try to jump to closing too fast and that will create resistance and they come across as pushy. If the previous steps are taken properly, the closing generally is the easy part as most of the time the customers close the deal on their own. However, that does not mean that a closing questions should be avoided. It is our responsibility to ask a closing question, such as “Would you like to go ahead with this deal?’ , Are you ready to commit to this today?, Can I ask for your order? “’ and many other closing questions that can be found in many sales books. If we do not ask a closing question, we are merely having a conversation with the prospect. Customers expect that we ask a closing question and if we don’t they will think something is wrong. This is what every sales person needs to remember if the fear of asking a closing question kicks in.
In the end, sales is a process and is not different than manufacturing or a doctor performing surgery. To have a predictable outcome, we all need thoroughly practice each step of this process, follow those steps in sequence, until it becomes perfect and natural to us. This will guarantee you success no matter what field or industry you work in.
Dr.Allen Nazeri DDS MBA is a leadership and management expert. He is the founder of Dr. Allen Nazeri Consulting,Advisory and M&A Group focused on healthcare organizations where they like to improve operational efficiency, scale through strategic joint venture partnerships as well as raise funds from private equity investors or Initial Public Offering. He may be reached at Drallenci@gmail.com.
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