Written by Sean McPheat |
12 February, 2015
I’m an avid reader of good quality books on many subjects, and one that my team put my way last week has intrigued and interested me.
“Never Be Closing” by Tim Dunne and Tim Hurson is an inventive and creative journey into presenting a sales structure and then providing invaluable techniques to help you use problem solving no matter what sales situation you encounter.
The book introduces a model that is not unique but offers ideas in differing formats. Called the ‘Productive Thinking’ model, Dunne and Hurson identify six components that allow for expansion of the existing sales model. It requires us to be thoughtful about the questioning process and invites us to use a deeper response mechanism when investigating processes that buyers go through when making decisions.
The model consists of a six-step process:
“What’s Going On?”: This asks us to make a thorough fact-finding researched analysis of the current situation and what’s caused it
“What’s Success?”: How will the success of a particular process or project be measured and what will the determining factors of that success actually look like?
“What’s the Question?”: This may seem obvious, but it’s surprising how few salespeople ask the questions that truly make prospects think about their business in line with what we can offer. Digging deep with power questions can differentiate you from your competitors, as you make your prospect think more about what needs to be accomplished
Generate Answers: By assimilating options, you give the prospect opportunities to think through what would be best for them and their business. Answers to their problems must involve the prospect in determining the best solution, not just a diatribe of product features and benefits
Forge the Solution: This is where the answers, or options of choices that would work, are refined to achieve the goals, objectives or targets the prospect is looking for.
Align Resources: Identify how you can ‘line up your ducks’ to achieve those goals, allocating the proper resources that will build on the current situation and help them create something different to whatever the competition are thinking.
The book highlights exactly what processes you can go through to build confidence in your prospect to make the best choice. Never Be Closing may well be different to what you’ve been taught in the past, especially those brought up on the ABC acronym (Always Be Closing), but it does offer a real alternative to the ‘stack-em-high-sell-em-cheap’ merchants who go straight for the kill.
Dunne discusses how the ‘DRIVE’ model can help you plan for success in meetings. Desired outcomes, Risks to avoid, Investment not to exceed, Vision or Values and Essential outcomes are all discussed in detail to help you think and prepare for the sales meeting.
Dunne and Hurson mention that many salespeople are still strangers to their clients even after selling to them for some time. What the book does is offer insights into how to build problem-solving relationships so that you don’ have to resort to closing ‘tricks’ that will cause more problems than they solve.
All-in-all, a satisfying read for you if you need a boost to your sales repertoire.