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Six Steps to Convincing a Customer They Should Use You

Posted on Have Your Say: Leave a comment?

handshakeIt’s fascinating to see the changes that are going on in the world of selling. If you Google books on the subject, the plethora of ideas and techniques could leave you reeling in its complexity.

If we try to apply all the new ideas that are available on how to sell, and listen to all the ‘gurus’ who claim to have the golden ticket to making the next sale, we would spend 24/7 just updating our knowledge; and be more confused than ever as we progress!

However, there’s one key question the customer wants answering that hasn’t really changed over the years. If we know that question and are able to prepare specific answers for it, it will give us a big head-start as we attempt to progress the sale.

We’ve said so very often that the customer doesn’t really care about what you’re selling. They only care about how your solution will aid themselves or their business. So the question most customers will subliminally be asking all through the buying process is, “Why should I choose your solution?”

Most salespeople will immediately start with something like, “Well, our company is the leading provider of electronic widgets in this industry, so that makes us a safe and reliable choice for you”. Or “We can make you more efficient and save you money by using our latest software”.

This doesn’t help the customer at all because there are no quantifiable numbers or money associated with what you are stating. If you were to prove that your solution would be best for them, their company or them as an individual, then there would be a mindset shift towards thinking about how you can improve their future performance.

How’s the best way to do this? Well, if you can prove what you say by recalling success stories with other clients, it gives this current prospect or customer a chance to see how it could apply to them. It gives them a SIGNAL as to why they should choose you.

In this case, SIGNAL is an acronym standing for Situation, Issue, Give reason, Need, Answer, Legacy.

Here’s an example of what I’m referring to:

When a customer asks why they should choose you, talk about how another similar company, or one in a similar industry, benefitted from using you and what the results were. It could go something like this: (Let’s say you’re talking to the Chief Buyer)

Situation: One example that might be of interest to you is the Chief Buyer of a manufacturer in a similar industry

Issue: They were facing big challenges because their current customers weren’t renewal their contracts after the first round of purchases

Give Reason: This was because the processes they needed to go through were long and cumbersome, tying up time and effort by the salespeople, so making it difficult for them to develop new business

Need: What they needed was a way to streamline the order process so they could re-order simply and easily on-line without having to go through all the effort of re-inputting all their details and the details of what they wanted

Answer: We installed a new software package that made it easy for customers to re-order with just two or three clicks

Legacy: They now have over 70% of their customers reordering on-line and their orders have increased by an average of 28%. Their salespeople now spend more time looking for new business, and in the last six months have brought in 18% more revenue.

You will see how these six steps, SIGNAL, help you to build good reasons for the prospect to think about how that could apply to them also. Of course, your success story will have to relevant to the specific problems your prospect is facing, so you won’t go into these details until you’ve found out all you need to know about their business needs. Also, the examples have to be real. Imaging if you made something up and then the customer said “Really? Put me in touch with this chief buyer and if your story stacks up, I’ll go with you!”

Use these six steps to describe how successful your customers have been in using your services, and see how much more impactful they are than just regurgitating product details!

Happy Selling!

Sean McPheat
Managing Director
MTD Sales Training

(Image by Ambro at

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Buyers Want Appreciating Assets, So Turn Yourself Into One

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increasedWhen an asset such as stock, property or personal property increases in value without any improvements or modification being made to it, it’s called appreciation.

Certain things have the potential to appreciate, and it all depends on a number of issues, including uniqueness or increased demand.

If a business can have assets that appreciate for them, there’s a fine chance that they will value these assets highest within the business.

Imagine if you owned something that was appreciating in value all the time. How would you view it?

You would take care of it, see it as precious and use it with care.

Imagine if you proved yourself an appreciating asset to your customer. How would they view you? Exactly the same!

As we said, an appreciating asset increases in value as time goes by. For you to become valuable to your client, this will require you to show how you can add value to them and their business as the relationship builds.

Ways you can do this include:

  • Showing how other successful companies have positively used your products and services to achieve the same and better results as you’re suggesting this client could achieve
  • Identifying how a consultative approach to your client’s business could improve how they approach their own business strategies
  • Becoming a strategic influence with the decision-maker
  • Identifying how the users of your products and services could improve their working lives by increased efficiencies
  • Sharing LinkedIn stories or articles that are of interest to your client and their business
  • Offering trips to your production facilities
  • Holding buyer forums and discussion sessions to talk about improvements of usage of your products
  • Being the ‘go-to’ person whenever challenges with your products occur
  • Using your business Twitter and Facebook accounts to keep up-to-date with how your clients’ business are going and how they can improve
  • Describing how new improvements to your products could affect and improve the way their company works and the results they achieve
  • Acting as a business consultant to assist in their strategic decisions
  • Being part of their decision-making team when the time comes to improve selection
  • Helping them with competitive offers by offering advice and suggestions to consider, especially if competitive pricing is causing them to ask questions
  • Showing your availability when they need help and assistance
  • Generating recommending improvements to how their business can be run, not necessarily by using your products

If you are able to help your client’s business grow, expand and improve, they are likely to see you as having the ability to be a real asset to their company, in the long-term.

They would then take care of you, see you as precious and use you with care. And what an asset you would prove to be then!

Happy Selling!

Sean McPheat
Managing Director
MTD Sales Training

(Image by Stuart Miles at

Posted in Lessons For Sales People | Leave a comment

Buyers Not Buying? Here’s Why…

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attract buyersIt’s a beautiful day here and the cricket season is at its height. A batsman will settle himself in before trying to hit the ball to the boundary, or steering it towards the ropes through the off-side (apologies to you non-cricket lovers for the jargon!).

When a batsman strokes the ball well, it can speed to the boundary ropes very quickly, often without it appearing to have been hit very hard. When it hits the bat like that, it’s called the ‘sweet spot’. Batsmen in any sport will tell you the sweet spot or middle of the bat is the area of the blade where you achieve the largest amount of power in the shot you are playing. This can be true of cricket, baseball, tennis and other sports, too.

If a player is able to find that sweet spot, scoring is easy. Many batsmen seem to be able to find the middle of the bat easily, especially those in form. It enables them to score runs even though they may face quality deliveries.

Similarly, buyers all have a ‘sweet spot’, that part of their decision-making ability that creates desire to make a choice. When the seller hits the buyer’s sweet spot’, it increases that desire and makes them think about your solution.

How does this work?

Well, as discussed, the sweet spot achieves the greatest amount of power. So you need to ask yourself, what part of my solution actually provides power to the buyer?

By power, we may mean increased productivity or improved profit for their business. We may be able to increase staff motivation, decrease their staff turnover or build their compliance levels.

Whatever it is your solution provides, think to yourself ‘what is it about my products and services that give power to the decision-maker? What would make them look good to their peers? How can I prove to them that deciding on my solution will be the best solution for their future?’

These questions are seldom asked by the average salesperson. The average will ask ‘How can I sell more of my product? What words can I use to make them choose me?’

Instead, we should be asking, ‘If I could make my prospect’s business look good, how would they benefit? What would make them look powerful in their decision-making?’

By asking these questions, you determine the sweet spots that help prospects make decisions. You create a future-oriented mindset in the buyer’s mind. And you find the main reasons why they should choose your solution.

That’s why buyers buy. If you focus purely on your product, they can’t see the rationale. Concentrate on the sweet spot and see the change immediately.

Happy Selling!

Sean McPheat
Managing Director
MTD Sales Training

(Image by dream designs at

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Sometimes You Win, Sometimes You Learn

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learnIn sales, a lot can depend on the outcome and results of our efforts. If we succeed or progress with the sale, we tend to increase our motivation, improve our self-esteem and build our credibility. If we lose a sale or don’t progress, it tends to have the opposite effect.

Much of our motivation is dependent upon extrinsic or external events; those things that we often don’t have control over.  The increase in control that intrinsic or internal motivation gives us can help us improve our self-worth and esteem.

The title of John Maxwell’s book ‘Sometimes you win, Sometimes you learn’ has always intrigued me. Often, we have our moods and emotions affected by the results we achieve…if we win, we feel good, if we don’t succeed, we feel down and unable to lift ourselves.

Much of this has to do with the way we focus our attention. When we concentrate on what we are gaining, our emotions are affected in a positive sense, which drives us forward as we are focussing on what we can achieve. Our viewpoint is positive; it feeds our positive emotions and makes us feel good about ourselves. This drives us to perform better as we like the results we are achieving and aids us to find creative ways to improve our activities. We feel that we are ‘winning’

If we are not succeeding (in whatever way we use to judge that success), it tends to make us feel more negative because of how we focus on those results. They make us feel that we are not as good as we could be and this has a detrimental effect on the way we view ourselves. We feel that we are ‘losing’.

How can we change the impact that not succeeding has on our performance?

Well, instead of thinking of ourselves as ‘losing’ by not succeeding, a swift change in the way we view the situation can have a dramatic effect on the performance we create. Instead of thinking about what we have lost, how about thinking ‘what can I learn from this?

It may sound like simple semantics, but it actually makes a huge difference in the way we feel about ourselves.

When we tell ourselves we have lost something, we focus on the pain and on the past that got us here. We think about things we could have, should have and ought to have done, and often chastise ourselves for not doing them. We often feel bad about what we could have achieved and so can’t concentrate on improvements that need to be made.

Instead, when we tell ourselves that we could learn something from this, it triggers a different mindset. To learn something, we have to concentrate on the lessons gained and the future changes we could make to improve. Learning means identifying the changes that will make a difference for us and our prospects. Those changes will help us achieve different results, as we now concentrate on the future, rather than the past.

From now on, think about how you can learn from your experiences, good or bad. By learning, you build your self-esteem and self-worth and this increases your confidence. That confidence could prove to be decisive in your future success.

Happy Selling!

Sean McPheat
Managing Director
MTD Sales Training

(Image by Stuart Miles at

Posted in Lessons For Sales People | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Everything is Expensive….Until You Want It

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ID-10067426Many of our clients have products and services they are proud of, and we are proud to work with them as clients.

Many of their salespeople have been on our programmes and have proved themselves to be effective at improving their abilities in many areas.

There’s one specific area, as you can guess, that always requires attention. It doesn’t take much imagination to know that the biggest challenges for salespeople who sell quality products is price-justification.

Much discussion has been made on how to sell expensive products, or products that are perceived to cost more than the competition.

They all revolve around increasing the value of the product to the prospect’s company or themselves. Of course, value is determined by the perception the prospect has of what they will achieve in the future with the product or service. If they see that the product will improve their productivity, lower costs, increase profitability or something similar, they are more likely to see the value in choosing it and be able to justify the price.

If a prospect claims that your product is ‘expensive’ it means they haven’t yet been able to justify why they should pay the asking price for it.

People will basically pay the price you ask if the prospect can justify in two specific ways; one, they need the product or, two, they want it.

If they need it, it can be justified around the future benefits it will bring them or their business. However, if they want it, it now involves emotions and desires.

We are more likely to see the value in something if we want it, more than if we need it. Even if something was priced at 50% off, if we don’t want it, we won’t see the value of it.

Increasing the desire is the catalyst that will increase the value in the prospect’s mind.

By making the person want what you are selling, you increase your chances of them justifying the initial outlay.

You do this by asking questions that highlight the emotional impact of the decision they are about to make.

It could be something like: “How will it feel to save 20% in overheads over the next 6 months with this product?”

Or: “What will your family think of this new addition?”

What you’re doing is involving the emotions in making a decision. When you increase desire, price doesn’t have the impact in the decision-making process that it would have if you were appealing to purely the rational brain.

Remember…everything is expensive…until you want it!

Happy Selling!

Sean McPheat

Managing Director

MTD Sales Training

(Image by MTD Sales Training, please attribute if re-used)

(Header image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici at FreeDigitalPhotos.Net)

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