By Jana Love
Are you ready to explore the next significant step of building a successful sales conversation? Knowing the steps to take to move the call along professionally will positively enhance sales closure. Remember you can't force a sale, you need to earn the sale. And to do that, some homework prior to the call is required. Let's get started.
- Prepare and Anticipate Your Customer ~ Some customers know exactly what they want, while others will come to you to be educated on what you have that will interest them. The key to successfully dealing with both of these customers is being present and knowledgeable. As a sales person, knowing your product inside and out is a must, as well as having information at your fingertips, and doing all this with confidence. Another important step is assessing your customer's mood/feelings. This takes practice, but meeting the customer's emotional needs is just as important as the product you are selling. It takes some preparation to anticipate how he or she may be feeling, but this is where a part of your focus needs to be to gain trust.
- Discovery / Qualifying ~ Noted as the blueprint of the sale and the foundation of the sales process. This step gives you the chance to determine the basic needs of your customer. It also helps you to define which of your services and amenities are most important to sell to the customer. And what's most important, it uncovers expectations, which, when met/exceeded, will lead to customer loyalty. The last point about Discovery/Qualifying that is misunderstood by many sales people is that it keeps the conversation efficient, streamlined, and focused. This step actually saves you time in the sales process.
- Explore Options ~ After thoroughly discovering and qualifying your customer's needs and wants, you now want to explore options for solving any problems that arise. Customers would rather buy a product than to be sold a product, and to do that you need to help your customer to be involved in selecting a solution that meets their buying needs. This step helps you differentiate your product and solutions from that of the competitors. When you do this step well, decisions for the customer become easier and obvious.
- Promote Benefits and Features ~ Understanding your customers objectives and needs, while successfully demonstrating benefit and feature selling, increases the possibility of making the sale dramatically. One of the most important rules with Benefit/Feature Selling is understanding customers do not buy features, they buy a product because those features provide benefits that fulfill that customer's objective. Take a look… This type if selling takes a lot of practice. Our recommendation is to use the graphic above to practice. Make a list of all the features you talk about the most and attach a benefit statement to them. For example, if one of your features is "location close to downtown," your benefit statement would be, "Our location is close to downtown which will allow you to enjoy and relax at the many fine restaurants." As you perfect your skills in benefit and feature selling, always remember to check in with your customer during this step. You want to make sure you are continuing to meet the customers objectives and that they are understanding the options/solutions you are presenting.
The last step that we will be exploring in this three step series is Gaining the Customer's Commitment. After mastering the first two steps, this step will be very simple and straightforward. See you next time and practice!