Written by Sean McPheat |
Most people like to envision a future full of promise and profits.
It helps us to set goals, have purpose and build strategies.
It’s always better to look forward to the future rather than loathe it.
As a sales consultant, how can you help buyers to build this vision?
What can you do to encourage them to listen to your ideas and see what life would be like if they chose your solutions?
During the negotiation stage, it opens up a lot of opportunities for us to show what this future would look like.
The journey needs to be clear and not committing you to a particular course of action, but allow the buyer to feel that any decision he makes with you in mind will be great for their future.
Here are some ways you can lay down the route and encourage your buyer to take it.
Suppose we….or suppose you….
This offers suggestions of how movement could be made.
It could also suggest movement from both or either side.
It may set the scene for a possible solution or part of one, by painting a picture of what may happen.
“Suppose we were able to bring those deliveries forward,
a) How would that change things for you?
b) Would that help you to meet your deadlines?
c) How would that affect your customers’ orders?”
How would it be if….
This enables the prospect to see what the result would be if they followed a specific course of action.
You don’t make any offers at this point; you simply identify what would most important for the buyer, so you can ascertain if the direction you are planning would be acceptable and agreeable to them.
“How would it be if…..
a) We were able to bring those final orders forward?
b) You started your orders next month instead of in two months’ time, so we could bring them into this financial year?
c) You increased your order so we could offer you a better price?”
This is similar to ‘suppose’ as it offers a dangling morsel to the customer and helps them to visionise a future that might be possible.
Again, by identifying a ‘what-if’ scenario, you aren’t committing to anything at the moment, but may be able to shift things if the customer was agreeable to moving.
a) We were able to help you increase your market share by assisting with your marketing proposals?
b) You were able to increase your productivity with our XYZ model? How would that build your profit opportunities?
c) You could change your processes so that customers were able to buy more on-line and we could support your change processes? How would that help you?
Each one of these builds opportunities for advancement and aids the buyer to see a picture of what their future might be like if they accepted a change in circumstances.
They allow you to play around with options and don’t commit you to anything at that moment.
You’re only surmising or supposing what could or might happen if these changes were acted out.
The ability to switch direction and offer alternatives gives you a better chance to see how you can advance, especially if you’ve encountered some obstacles in the sales process.
Build these visions together and you might come up with ideas that neither of you had thought of before.
Originally published: 22 November, 2016