Back to Work Special Sauce Edition v1.3: Effective Qualifying – The Critical Selling Skill: Listen & Learn About Your Potential Client’s Needs To Increase Your Close Ratio. Over the years I’ve never strayed from my golden rule #1 in relation to sales and this is especially true via telephone sales: Know Your Customer.
Selling skills are a critical competency all business owners need to acquire to some degree. Professional sales people though need to refine this skill set to perfection over time to truly be called an “Expert Sales Person”. You should be able to qualify someone in two or three questions to know which direction to take your sales pitch in.
So, ask yourself or better ask your potential client: What are the needs of the potential buyer that you’re taking the time to talk to? Do you know? Do you know their buying timeline, if they have the money to buy the product you sell right now if they chose to? How about a myriad of other information points that might be critical to know? See, if you don’t know the answer(s) to some basic questions about the potential buyer or their needs no slick sales pitch will ever work as well as simply asking some questions to get to know your potential buyer and what he or she needs. It really is that simple.
The most frequent mistake new sales people make is to fire into the “Pitch” or worse jump right into reading a script without asking a single question. They start to blast the buyer with all the reasons why they should purchase whatever it is they happen to be selling with almost no information about the person at all. The main problem employing that approach is that this almost never addresses the needs of the buyer and often comes off as cold calling.
If you want to really be able to sit down and sell anything under the sun to anyone under the sun you need to stop “Selling”, shut up, listen after asking targeted and friendly questions to get to know more about your potential’s buyer needs, perhaps a bit about them too, how they became acquainted with the company you work for and so on.
I heard another sales person recently mention that one of the critical things he’d learned in his many years of selling, was that if you ask, people will tell you anything you want to know. People LOVE to talk about themselves, their business and most remarkably their likes and dislikes, dreams & desires. All you need to do is promote them with a series of questions that are highly targeted and designed to evoke a response and you my friend are on your way to closing more deals and being a more effective sales person.
The Special Sauce Sales Tip Of The Week:
It is also very important that you know your customer’s experience on the call with you. I often end with this Qualifying Question:
Q: Have I answered all of your questions in this call or that you have right now (pause for laugh or sign) so that you can evaluate the opportunity? Can I provide any additional information at this time?
Carpe Diem My Friends