Breaking Down the Information

After a conversation with a prospect, you’ve probably collected a great deal of data.  How do you make the best of it?

First, confirm what the prospect needs and what needs to occur to make that solution possible.  Second, what are the “bells and whistles” that can make your solution fun for your prospect?  Third, what is their time-frame for action? Fourth, can they meet the commitment?  Fifth, what is the emotional motivation to move forward?

When you’ve found these answers, you’ve nearly won the right to move forward in the sales process and begin to offer a tailored solution.  Every sale is different and additional information may be warranted, yet this is critical information needed to proceed.

This information is critical to presenting and negotiating a successful sale.

      "Information is a source of learning. But unless it is organized, processed, and available to the right people in a format for decision making, it is a burden, not a benefit." 
 -William Pollard


Gain a Better Understanding of Your Prospects

In your communications with a prospect, don’t hesitate to rephrase his or her answers to your questions.  This will enable you to better understand your prospect's needs completely.  This will demonstrate good listening and offers them an opportunity to let you know if you missed the mark.

Summarize frequently to make sure you're on track and nothing has changed.  It’s most important to summarize in a sales cycle where several parties and numerous meetings are involved.

And always test your progress by utilizing questions that identify your heading in the right direction. They would take the form of: “How does that sound?” “Are we heading in the right direction?” “Are we on the same page?” “Where do you see this benefiting you the most?”

"How do you know so much about everything?' was asked of a very wise and intelligent man, and the answer was 'By never being afraid or ashamed to ask questions as to anything of which I was ignorant.” 
-John Abbott


Five Questions You Need To Ask

Just when you think you have all the information you need to move, ask five more questions.

Most salespeople only ask three to five questions before selling. Yes, shocking, but true. Think about the last time you bought an item greater than $500.  How may questions did the salesperson ask before shelling out facts and benefits?  Often thinking they have earned the right to move forward and sell. They believe they have all the “right” information.

Why ask five more questions? Use it to double check your work, test to make sure your assumptions are right and eliminate any possible bias.

It never hurts to ask five more questions.  You will be asking more questions than 90% of salespeople and it just might save the sale!

      "If your ship doesn’t come in, swim out to it." 
 -Jonathan Winters


Double Your Sales

Simply put…referrals!  Referrals have been found statistically to be the easiest way to your next sale.  Incredibly, less than twelve percent of all salespeople ask for referrals.  Ninety-one percent of customers say they are willing to give referrals.

How you ask for referrals makes all the difference.  Very few individuals ask for referrals correctly.  Most salespeople ask referrals like this “Who do you know that would benefit from my products or services?”  Or my favorite “I can’t submit this application unless I have five referrals, who do you know?”

Be precise and let the person you’re working with have time to think, don’t rush it.  First, remind them of what they just accomplished.  Second, think of your client profile, describe that client to the person you’re talking to.  Finally, provide a benefit to them for providing a referral (never use the word referral with a client).  The rate of delivery is important, you don’t want to overload with too much information too quickly.  Let them process it.  Increased results with high-quality prospects will follow.

Ask referrals properly of anyone you know or meet.  It’s inexpensive, effective…and rewarding!

“If you don't ask the right questions, you don't get the right answers. A question asked in the right way often points to its own answer.”
-Edward Hodnett


The Best Way to Avoid Objections

The best way to avoid objections is by asking good questions.  It’s only through good questioning skills that you will be able to decipher where the customer finds value in what you are presenting as a solution.

An objection is nothing more than a request for information to justify moving forward.  When proper information is provided, the prospect is more likely to find justification and move forward.

The only way to avoid objections is to understand what is valuable to the client…Ask good questions during discovery and you will find it!

“Great works are performed, not by strength, but by perseverance.” 
-Samuel Johnson