A lot of business owners and sales professionals struggle with sales because they go about it the wrong way. And by “going about it the wrong way”, it means they pitch way too early.
This is called “premature presentation”. One of the challenges encountered while training business owners and sales professionals is having to unpick previous beliefs of pitching and then overcoming objections, and some of the time, having to reframe their mindset to understand that they have no right to pitch or present their product, service or solution, until they’ve uncovered a number of key factors in the sales process.
Now, it’s all well and easy to say this, but how can you implement this in your business and sales process? Here’s how:
Step 1: Uncover what they actually want
Something that initially creates a bit of a confused look, is the statement “what they tell you they want, generally isn’t in fact what they want at all”. For instance, if you are a sales professional in real estate sector, you may often come across a potential buyer that tells you they want an apartment — three bedrooms with two bathrooms.
If we go on this example, and start pitching and presenting to them based on this information alone, then we are way off the mark. Why?
Because we haven’t yet learnt the crucial information in regards to what it is, in fact, they want to buy. You see, why they want a three-bedroom or two-bathroom apartment? Are they downsizing? Do they want more living space than their current place? More importantly, why?
What about a three-bedroom or two-bathroom apartment interests them? Do they want to be closer to their workplace? Perhaps the actual property is closer or walking distance from local entertainment and dining, which may mean they want the location instead.
So when they tell you they want the three-bedroom, two-bathroom place; that isn’t what they want at all.
Instead, what does it mean when they own it?
Once we learn what it is they’re wanting to achieve by buying this new property, we are a step closer to actually understanding their wants and needs. By knowing their wants and needs, we are on our way to having a meaningful, open conversation rather than staying on the surface.
Which leads up to the next step.
Step 2: What ‘will it mean’ when they buy?
People don’t buy things for buying sake. People buy “meaning”, and how they will feel when they own it.
If they own the three-bedroom, two bathroom apartment, what will it mean? If it’s for investment purposes, does it mean security and certainty for them and their children’s future?
If it’s for more space, does it mean a bigger area in which they’d be proud to entertain family and friends, or maybe more room for the children to play?
If it’s closer to work, does that mean less time commuting to and from work – and more importantly, what that saved time will mean? More time with their family perhaps? Maybe more time to spend quality time doing things they enjoy, such as hobbies, etc.
This principle is something that works across all business types.
People don’t buy leads from your social media agency — what will it mean when they generate those leads into customers?
People don’t buy insurance — what will it mean knowing they have certainty and security if something unexpected were to happen (and knowing they have that protection to fall back on)?
People don’t buy luxury cars — what will it mean when people notice them in their new vehicle? Will they feel like they have higher status, and will people perceive them to be more successful? How will that make them feel?
So how do you do this?
A part of the nine-step formula for sales success is that you need to learn how to deliver questions that dive under the surface, so that you maintain rapport, and truly find out what meaning they’re looking for when they buy.
Going a few layers deeper — to find out what it will mean when they own the thing.
This way, we can have a real, open and transparent conversation about their actual wants and needs. The more you learn about what they really want to buy, the less friction you create. Friction is something most potential clients feel when they speak with sales professionals.
The reason being, they are coming to the conversation with previous negative experiences, previous beliefs, and feeling uncertain about potentially being ripped off or burnt.
So the more we connect with their meaning, the less friction we create because we’re having a more open conversation about their real desire. If we stay on the surface and just present based on the first information they give us, you’ll remain a commodity; and chances are they’ll shop you on price.
Step 3: Know how your product, service and solution gives them what they actually want and need
Now that you know what you’re actually selling, the next step is learning how you can bridge the gap between what you sell, and what they actually want and need.
Prior to having this conversation with your potential clients or customers, you need to know what it is you want to sell. Either you can do this short activity on your own, or with your team.
Write down what you sell on the surface (property, insurance, stock, luxury suits, etc.), and then brainstorm what it means when your customers and clients own your products or services.
There will be all sorts of answers here, depending on the different type of clients and customers that buy from you. This is great, as this will give you more clarity. Once this is clear, you now know what to focus on and listen out for when having conversations about your product or service, and what you should also be focusing on when you are advertising (rather than just another features and benefits ad).
Once you learn what it is they want and need, you’re now in a better position to actually communicate how your product or service bridges that gap. Rather than just presenting, you’ll actually address how your product or service identifies each and every single one of their pain points, concerns, and desires.
Now it’s personal. Now it’s real. And more importantly, now your product, service or solution has worth and meaning.
Human beings are emotional; we must strive to learn the meaning behind what they actually want.
Sales are killed because of our preconceived assumptions, and our premature presentations. By not connecting with our potential clients about their actual desires and needs, we’re having a non-personal conversation, that’s not focused on truth.
Learn their meaning and bridge the gap, so that not only do you win more sales but also have conversations that create clients for life.
Article originally posted by entrepreneur.