Most people know what they want, but they are not necessarily so anxious for what they really need. Your job is to discover what they need, and make them want it. Is this evil manipulation? I would say, “No. Not if what they need helps them achieve their real goals. “
I’ve written about the entire 5-Step Selling process in another post [Link] and today I’d like to talk about where that process really takes you. You see, I’m a firm believer in creating win-win situations, and if you are effectively selling solutions to people who don’t really need them, then you’re winning, but your client might not be.
The five key steps to sales success involve:-
- Building Rapport; [Link to #20]
- Asking Questions; [Link to #21]
- Establishing Need & Value-Add;
- Proposing a Solution; [Link to #23]
- Closing the Sale. [Link to #24]
So, you have established rapport and asked many questions (and listened to the answers they gave) and now you are talking to your prospect (or existing client) about a service or product you sell that you can clearly see would add value to their business – therefore it’s something they need.
The first thing you need to remember is that they don’t know your business as well as you do. It is really important never to assume your prospect will grasp the value you could bring to them. Even your existing clients may absolutely understand how valuable the services you already provide are, but might not see why they should purchase more. It is your responsibility to show them how much they could gain by purchasing it.
By the time we get to this step in the sales process I know what the other person’s goals and objectives are. I usually have a pretty good idea of their secondary goals, as well as their primary goals, and I have some insight into the things they value based on their responses to my questions, so it’s easy to stack the value for them.
Wants vs. Needs
Your prospect knows what he wants (a specific outcome) – but sometimes he confuses the outcome with the means of getting it. This might sound condescending, but it’s really just common sense. If I go to the doctor I know what I want – a quick solution to my pain or sickness; but he’s the one who tells me what I need to achieve that outcome. It would be silly for me to go in absolutely set on getting a certain prescription and to reject his suggestion that I try something even more effective.
A doctor can get away with that kind of switch because by-and-large we trust them. As a business owner we need to engender the same sort of confidence in our prospects so that they are convinced we understand their problem, and that our solution will resolve it in the most effective way possible.
At this point, I’m still asking them questions, but by now those questions are about the outcomes they are looking for, and the criteria they have for reaching those outcomes. For example, with my business coaching clients I help them to identify areas of their business where they are leaking resources because I know that once they see that by doing all these tasks without getting paid they are effectively working for less than they are worth. Once they find a way to charge for these things, they’ll be able to work less and earn more. Whether you are plagued by systems that take more time than they save, employees who aren’t delivering the services they ought, or prices that don’t reflect the value you bring to clients, once you can see the need in that area as well as the difference a solution will make, you are likely to find my services attractive – but it’s my job to highlight the value I bring.
If I’ve done a good job at highlighting how I can help you achieve the outcomes you really desire, and demonstrated my ability to deliver that value for others then you are almost certainly going to want to work with me. Then we can move onto establishing a price and concluding the deal. On the other hand, if you are still not sure whether you need my product or service – or whether I’m capable of delivering the service at all then there’s not much point moving forward.
The whole sale really depends on this question of establishing your prospect’s need for your service and demonstrating the value it could bring to them.
Meta Description: As a sales person or business owner it’s your job to find out what your prospects really need so that they achieve the goals they want – and then to help your prospects see that.
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