Written by Sean McPheat |
There comes a time in every salesperson’s discussion with a prospect when they need to change tack and get to the decision-making bit. You know…grabbing the prospect by the throat and saying ‘Look, this is what you NEED…when are you gonna say YES?!!!”
I know it’s a little forward, but that essentially is what you want to say to them. And you’re probably saying/shouting/screaming it in your mind anyway!
Well, the best way to approach this part of the discussion is not by presenting solutions at all. It’s by recommending what you suggest the client does next. If you’ve built up rapport and got the desire running through their veins, your transition to gaining commitment should be a natural progression of the conversation. Everything you’ve done in the call so far (preparation, working with the gatekeeper, information-gathering, interest-creating, desire-building, questioning-and-listening, researching and deliberating) should have laid the foundation for the transition to gaining commitment.
When you know what needs to be done to fill your prospect’s needs, you can recommend what needs to be done next.
Initial Stage Of The Transition
“Mr Prospect, based on what you’ve told me about your company needs and your existing situation, along with your current supply challenges, I believe I have something that will help you earn more profit per unit and counteract some of the problems you’re facing currently”
This clears the way for you to start talking about solutions because the prospect knows there will be something of benefit for them.
Gain Confirmation That You’ve Understood
“Let’s review our understanding of where we are at the moment. You’ve said you’re not entirely happy with the service levels of your current supplier, and you believe there may be some mileage in looking around at what else might be available. Also, you’ve tried renegotiating the credit arrangements, but found them to be unwilling to move very far. And you sometimes question the quality of back-up service you get. Now, have I summed that up correctly?”
Not only does this prove you’ve been listening effectively, but you also accentuate the pain associated with the current position in the prospect’s mind.
Recommend The Results That Will Come If They Follow The Next Steps
“Mr Prospect, I understand why all that is so important to you. How beneficial would it be to have your own account manager who would take care of all these issues for you, so you can concentrate on what’s important to your business instead of wasting valuable time on dealing with these issues? How much time would you save?”
Make sure you concentrate on what results the prospect would expect from your solution. Don’t focus on your product or service and what it does. They don’t buy the product…they buy the results the product will bring (peace of mind, money-savings, time-savings, increased productivity, improved morale, etc, etc). After going through the results, ask them ‘Would that be OK? Is that something that would save you money?’
“Mr Prospect, from our discussions we’ve seen that you’d start saving £x per week. It makes sense for us to explore more details of how we could start those savings as early as possible for you. When would be the best time to start?”
This gains agreement on the next action, which could consist of downloading your information, agreeing to a trial or making the commitment to buy. Whatever the agreement, it takes the discussions further and helps you create opportunities for advancing the sale.
Transitioning from your presentation to recommending commitment doesn’t have to be a tortuous journey. Done correctly, you help them see the next step on the road is one where they will benefit from saying yes. And that will help you both to achieve your end goals.
Originally published: 11 July, 2013