Written by Sean McPheat |
We’re often taught as salespeople that we have the best solution for prospect’s businesses and that we should be able to sell to everyone.
If they don’t buy, then our sales manager thinks you haven’t tried enough or you made some errors along the way.
While these ideas may be correct in some circumstances, we can only get so far with our products and services.
If we had the best products, then we as salespeople wouldn’t be necessary; prospects would just call in to a freephone number and order straight away, with no input from us.
So what’s the best way to approach a prospect and determine the best solution for their businesses?
Here’s a simple model to follow that succeeds more times than you will realise:
Define the prospect’s objectives for their business.
We have to be absolutely clear what they are trying to achieve before we think about how we can help them achieve it.
Collect relevant and pertinent information.
This means quality questions, surveying the relevant information and taking steps to request relevant information that will help you assess current circumstances.
Develop possible options to go forward.
These will depend on the resources that are available but they may open up a series of options that you hadn’t considered before with other prospects.
Evaluate the best options and decide on why they are best.
Here you identify the chosen success criteria.
Will these options help the prospect achieve their objectives in step 1?
Will the risks taken be overcome by the results?
Identify the manifests and the possible latent consequences of the decision.
Implement and evaluate the decisions.
The cut-off point in the process is when thinking ends and implementation begins.
You still evaluate decisions until the point is reached when the decision has been implemented.
Monitor the consequences of the decisions.
Have the results you’ve achieved met and exceeded the initial promises?
Do the figures match up with the prospect’s hopes and desires for their business?
It’s been said that ‘a decision is the action a prospect makes when he or she has incomplete information so that the answer doesn’t suggest itself.’
What you’re doing as a sales consultant is allowing the prospect to get closer to the answer by helping them determine the consequences of such decisions, and by carrying out the six points above, you move them closer toward making the right decision for themselves and their businesses.
Originally published: 2 July, 2018