Written by Sean McPheat |
11 February, 2020
You had a great sales interaction: Both you and the prospect were calm and comfortable. You developed some rapport and the prospect showed some positive buying signals during the meeting. However, when you presented your proposal it seems as though everything became silent, time began to slow down and tension filled the air as you anxiously waited for the prospect’s decision.
If that’s been your experience, maybe you need to review the questions you ask to drive the conversation on, professionally and with confidence.
Each will ease the tension and help you maintain the flow of your sales interaction as you begin to ask for the order.
#1 – “Does that make sense for your business?”
This question is simple and helps the prospect understand that what you have just proposed is, at worst, reasonable. You are not asking, “Do we have a deal?” You are simply asking the buyer if what you have presented thus far seems right in a business sense.
“So, Susan, we are talking about three cases of our classic style blades and we will pick up the shipping cost, and as I mentioned, I am including a full year of maintenance at no charge. So, this gives you an entire year of worry-free operation for only £2,675. Does that make sense for your business?”
From there, simply assume the sale or address whatever issue the prospect feels does not make sense. For them or their business.
#2 – “Is that fair enough?”
This second question is perfect for the customer who loves to negotiate. You know some prospects are going to insist on a lower price or higher value no matter what you first propose. This question considers this without challenging the prospect.
“So, this gives you an entire year of worry-free operation for only £2,675. Is that fair enough, Susan?”
The prospect’s answer will tell you whether you are required to look at ‘fair’ from a different perspective.
#3 – “More in the future…OK?”
With this question, you want to point to the future of your business with the customer. The proposal on the table is but a stepping-stone to a broad and long-term mutually beneficial relationship.
“So, this gives you an entire year of worry-free operation for only £2,675. This will get us started Susan and take care of your immediate needs. Then, after a few months we can begin to look at a plan to outfit your whole plant—OK?”
This gives the prospect the chance to make a decision now and look at future prospects for the rest of the business. By highlighting what could be happening in the future, you open up opportunities for further discussions.
And here are two bonus questions:
#4 – “If we get this sorted today, we can start saving you money from next week”
As you see, this is a statement rather than a question, but it serves the same purpose. You determine what the benefits would be to the prospect if they agreed to go with your solution and then you introduce this ‘conditional clause’ to make the prospect realise when they would be receiving the benefits (saving money, making more profit, increasing productivity, etc)
“So, Susan, we’ve agreed that you would have worry-free operation for a whole year. If we get this sorted today, we can start saving you money from next week. Does that make business sense to you?”
#5 – ‘My recommendation is……does that sound good to you, too?’
Again, more of a statement first, but again it gives you the chance to recommend a solution for now and get the agreement of the prospect at the same time.
“Well, Susan, my recommendation is that you start with the three cases that we have been discussing, so you can see your overheads cut by 10% in the first quarter and continue those savings with our free maintenance in the first year. Does that sound good to you, too?’
You’ll notice that, by saying ‘too’ at the end of the question, you are showing that your recommendation already has a subliminal agreement with you, so it’s only natural that their business would benefit also.
Try these five closes sometime soon and see if there are improvements in your confidence and closing rates.
If you would like to learn more, simply check out our Essential Selling Skills course.