After you called someone who was referred to you or gave you permission to contact them through social media (steer away from cold calls please), you describe what your company does and offer proof to your claims. One of the best and easiest ways to do this is through telling a story of how your company helped someone in a similar business to the person you called. You want powerful results you can report.
What do you say? How do you organize it? Keith Eades in The New Solution Selling suggests telling a brief story describing the issue you tackled for a company like theirs, what was needed (which you provide) and the result obtained.
You want your prospect to admit pain. People buy more and faster due to pain than pleasure. You can pursue pleasure but solving pain is something acted upon immediately if framed in the correct way. From here, write up for yourself ways to respond to the various common problems admitted by the prospect. If you are prepared and wrote something powerful you can utilize when speaking, you have a chance at another phone call or in-person meeting.
Remember you must be interested in them and their company. It is often said that we do business with people we like, trust and respect”. Be that to your prospects and develop a relationship where they will stay with you long term.
Please write your comments below and what worked for you to get that initial appointment.
According to Keith Eades in The New Solution Selling, they are:
1) Define the prospects’ buying process.
Knowing how your prospect buys – not what you sell. You need to adapt your sales process to align with the prospects’ buying process.
2) Define and align your selling with the buyers’ buying steps.
This is vital or you could lose the sale. If you take action and don’t know why or what is the result they want is, your failure rate can exceed 50%.
3) Be aware of the outcomes at each step in the process so the salesperson knows if he/she are on the right track.
Have a measurement such as mailing a letter to the prospect noting they agreed to discuss the offering.
4) Job aids/tools are needed.
Examples could be to script the ROI (return on investment) and ways to answer objections.
5) A system from management that measures the process and makes adjustments if needed to increase the possibility of success.
Certainly, this is an outline of what needs to be done. Fill in the blanks for your business. Let me know below what questions you have and if this or another path works better for you.
Has this been helpful for you? What sales process do you find useful? Let’s have a conversation below.
Do you know how to speak with customers?
Keith Eades in his book, The New Solution Selling, discusses having “business development prompters”. It’s a way to increase interest in your product/service. You can use this in emails, on the phone, personal contact, trade shows, etc. You want to increase curiosity rather than sell.
One of the prompters discussed is for a new business prospect. There is no pressure to buy. It’s wonderful to have them developed so they are specific to the people (example: engineers) and companies you are calling. You start by stating your name, co. and then mention you haven’t spoken previously (ensures the person on the other end is listening rather than trying to figure out how they know you).
Then you discuss your expertise – for example, you’ve worked with ____(their industry) for the past ___years (if possible). Then state- what I continue to hear from people in this field is _____(difficulty with ____). We help solve this issue. Would you like to know how (then they are curious)?
If they want to talk more extensively, set up a meeting.
What have you done to get an initial appointment? Is this strategy helpful? Please let me hear from you. I will respond.
Your current clients! Your current clients know/like and trust you. They are more likely to take
additional products/services from you and refer others (see other blog entry for referral strategy – I also have a powerful systematized referral policy I utilize with my clients). Discover what current challenges are facing them. See if what you offer aligns with their issues or refer them to others. They will “thank you” since you only refer your powerful partners.
Who’s next? Per Keith Eades of New Solution Selling, look for business prospects who are not looking for you. Sound strange? Those who are not looking for you – given the proper educational based marketing approach which includes changing the buying criteria and selling down to you. This foster new business opportunities. You must do some planning to make it a successful call.
– Company information – history, mission, any financial reports available to you.
– What makes them unique?
– Information about their market
– Executive staff history/background
– Capabilities and issues (if disclosed – probably need to get challenges on the call)
As much as possible, get to higher level personnel so you don’t have to repeat things or have others interpret what you said which certainly loses a lot in the translation.
Where do you get your background information?
-Wall Street Journal or Hoover’s Online
-News stories, etc.
You must look for their pain so they have a reason to change. Change is difficult and uncomfortable. You will make it easier. Make certain you align your capabilities to their pain, if at all possible. Discuss someone you helped with this issue as well as the strategy used (without giving away the store).
This will get you started.
More to come…
Let me know your thoughts/comments below please. I would love to hear from you and will respond.
Keith Eades in his book, The New Solution Selling, states that amongst other things, you need a process.
This is a series of specific steps to lead you to a desired outcome. Do you have it – or wing it?
What makes a sales process valuable? You know the next step and have a predictable way to reach your goal. You can also see what steps are not leading to success. Also, you have everyone (or just you if you are on your own) following the same, predictable strategy.
The first part of the sales process is the “customer’s buying process” per Eades. What is this?
-know how people who purchase from you buy not the way you want to sell
(You must adapt your process based on what your service/product is so you “align” with their buying process.)
Then lay out what your selling steps include. Eades states “misalignment with buyers is one of the most critical mistakes in selling”. You need to know why you are doing a specific action. If you don’t, your failure is more than 50%.
Your sales process needs ways to measure its effectiveness (actually, just about everything I do with my clients are measured to determine what is working/what needs to be tweaked). Be sure you have these goal posts in mind and use them consistently.
More on this topic soon.
Do you have a sales process you follow? Let me know what worked for you please.