Written by Sean McPheat |
It’s my lifeline, my saviour, my instant access to finding new destinations.
Yet, since I started using satellite navigation systems, I have been lulled into a false sense of security, allowing it to control my thoughts and, against my better judgement at times, leading me down roads and motorways I would have been best avoiding.
Still, I’d rather have it directing my every move than have to rely on the old method of tracing a line with my finger on a road atlas while doing 69 mph!
It got me thinking about the connections between my sat nav and the sales processes we follow.
When we set out on a journey, the first thing we put into it is the destination, the end goal, the outcome. We make it as precise as possible, like the post-code or office number, so we can straight there.
Then, it works out our current position, the situation we find ourselves in. This is our starting point and allows the system to generate the journey from point A to B.
My system then gives me options to follow, maybe taking a quieter A road rather than the motorway, or routes to avoid tolls.
Finally, on the journey, I get feedback from the sat nav, outlining if any changes need to be made on my journey, diverting me away from blockages and traffic jams.
The sat nav is a good metaphor for our sales processes and, if followed precisely, can help us reach our destination (the close) in good shape.
Firstly, we can help the prospect identify his final goal, the destination if you like, or where they will be when they succeed.
Questions like, “How will you know this has been a successful project for you?” or “What will the end result be for you?” are good ways to find exactly what the prospect is looking to accomplish.
Then, we can find out what the current situation is like with questions like “What are you using at the moment and why isn’t that good enough to get to the position you’ve just outlined?” and “What are you using now,, and how has that served you up until now?”
These positioning questions help you identify what the gap is between the ‘now’ and the ‘future’.
We can then discuss options with the prospect. Asking things like “What changes do you see having to happen in order for you to achieve those goals?” and “What options do you see as you look to improve results here?” will help the prospect identify the various ways they can travel to achieve the end goal.
And finally, you can assist the prospect on the journey by outlining what needs to be done to achieve the final result. You can make suggestions, offer advice and build relationships by keeping them informed of what is happening as things progressing, offering feedback on his results and showing how the situation is changing as time goes on.
So, next time you program your sat nav for a journey, reflect on how it can help you with your sales process as well and adapt your meetings so you can fit in with the direction your prospect will want to make n their journey to results.
Originally published: 26 February, 2015