We are typically proud of our businesses. We are the creators of that which we
sell. Our businesses are like our kids; they keep us up at night when things
aren’t well and they make us prouder than proud when they hit a home run. Ever
meet someone who wasn’t anxious to show you pictures of their kids? Our
businesses are the same, we want to tell the whole wide world about them and why
they should do business with us.
Problem is, people don’t seek us out to hear how wonderful our businesses are.
They seek us out to see if we have a match for their needs. Were we to take a
step back and take and external view of the sale, we could easily see that
stepping into presentation mode prematurely is not a productive step.
There is this invisible wall between most consumers and their salespeople. This
invisible wall is in a word: mistrust. It is not that we are not trust worthy,
it is simply that they do not trust us yet. By starting the sales interaction by
presenting before you truly understand their needs, either consciously or
unconsciously the prospect will feel as though we are interested in our own
outcomes; not theirs.
Sometimes a prospect will ask us to present by saying something like, “Okay,
tell me what you have.” At which point 90% of salespeople will proceed to tell
them what they have. Here is the problem with this scenario; the prospect
doesn’t know where to go with the sale, and we only know once we have all the
proper information. Think about this as well, Imagine we were paid $100 for
every minute that we could talk about the depth of our products/services. We
would probably find plenty of time and information to fill that time. Based on
that, what 5-10 minutes do we choose to present to the prospect. My point is
this, we risk it by proceeding and presenting prior to knowing what to present.
In order to learn what to present, we need to take the prospect through proper
discovery. What we need to discover are our prospects top needs or desires in
that which we sell. It is our responsibility to approach the discovery based on
an experienced based system of questions. If we have been asked the same 5
questions in the past 100 meetings with prospects, perhaps we need to ask the
questions to the prospect that will answer their questions. For example; if the
prospect always ask how long it will take for us to give them what they bought,
we should ask “what is your time frame on needing delivery of a finished
product/service?” Hint: the prospect will always ask questions for a reason,
find out why.
People always buy for a reason and in the process of buying will be asking
questions for their reasons as well. When we get good at discovering their
reasons, we get to the point of yes, perhaps we can provide what they are
looking for or no, we cannot provide what they are looking for. At either point,
we begin then to find a proper solution for the prospect/potential customer.
Key to a sales system that is effective is going through the discovery questions
to figure out if we can meet the prospects needs. Present only when you have the
information that you can potentially meet their needs