Written by Sean McPheat |
How many times have you walked away from a sales meeting, returned to your office and stated that the sale is in the bag, and it’s just a matter of getting the signature on the contract?
How often have you then been disappointed that the sales didn’t materialise, especially after you had been convinced the customer bought into your solution and said all the right things while you were making your presentation?
If you’re like many salespeople, this will have happened multiple times.
How can you be a little more confident, then, that your pitch hit the mark, and that you won’t be disappointed with little or no progress later on?
Here are some ideas:
After your pitch, don’t just ask ‘is everything OK with that?’
A simple question won’t get your prospect to sign on the line.
They may nod in the right places and give you the right signals, but it doesn’t necessarily mean they are really interested.
Ask what the next stage will be
Having pitched your solution, get the prospect to take the initiative by asking what they see as the next step in the process.
It’s important you gain commitment from the prospect at this stage, rather than trying every trick you’ve learned to get them to sign up.
The more in control the prospect is during this stage, the more they will tell you how agreeable they are to your solution.
Discuss what the results will be when they start using your solution
Remember, people won’t be buying your products; they buy what your products will do for their business or themselves after the purchase decision has been made.
This means you have to paint a picture of what the results will be when they have been using your product or services for some time.
Will they be more profitable?
Will their productivity increase?
Will their customers get better delivery terms?
In other words, what will be the benefits they will achieve after using you?
Interest is transitory until they make the decision
Our English word ‘decision’ comes from the root Latin word meaning ‘to cut off from’.
Until the prospect has made a decision, options are still open to them, and the pitch hasn’t made a difference to their future yet.
What needs to happen is for them to determine the next stage.
At the end of your pitch, you can ask ‘What would you like to do next? Is there anything else you need to ask or go through before you make a final decision? Do we have anything else to cover before we move onto the next stage?’
Each of these stages will help you determine if your presentation has been successful before moving on to the next part of the process.
If the prospect has been impressed sufficiently, you should be able to gain commitment to the next stage of the process.
If not, then you need to ascertain how the process needs to be progressed so you help the prospect gain confidence in making a decision.
Either way, you help both of you decide which direction you need to go next.
Originally published: 5 February, 2019