“Don’t find customers for your products, find products for your customers.”
~ Seth Godin
The Key to Sales is Not Building a Better Mousetrap, but Presenting a Bigger Mouse
Lest us start by summarising the baseline assumptions on which effective long term sales careers are based:
- Your goal is not ‘a sale today at any cost’ but to enter into a potential long term relationship that serves both the business and the customer;
- You believe that the product or service you are selling has value to the right customer;
- It is not your responsibility to decide whether the prospect can afford to buy, but to present the argument for doing so;
That said, in a booming economy making sales is relatively easy whereas a tight economy demands more imagination, vision, and skill… but also present more opportunity as well as other businesses recognise their own need to work smarter.
When a business owner or buyer is staring disaster in the face they are willing to spend almost any amount of money on an effective solution. You may assume that the person you are talking to is acutely aware of the problems they are facing and don’t need to be reminded, but hurrying through the process of painting the picture of the problem they are facing and its implications will slow down (or derail) the sale.
A master salesperson knows better than to try and sell ice to Eskimos. Selling a prospective customer a solution that won’t really address their urgent problems but will absorb resources that ought to be invested elsewhere is bad practice.
Amateurs (and the truly desperate) show up at a business with a product and do their best to sell that item even when they realise that it’s not meeting a pressing need. Of course, it’s the buyers decision in the end, but if you can see that your solution is not the most effective answer, then you’ll win trust and respect by pointing that out.
How do you determine your prospect’s need?
By asking appropriate questions that probe their motivations and also address associated problems that your prospect may not realise are linked to their most visible need.
My book Confident Closing: Sales secrets that grew a business by 400% in six months and how they can work for you! was originally titled “Feeding Salt to Horses”. The premise behind that title was that while you can lead a horse to water, but not make it drink, if you feed him salt he will drink willingly.
As a sales person you face a similar problem: you can’t make a prospect buy, but if you mix emotional triggers in with your reasons and keep the vision of their ‘giant mouse’ front and centre they will buy willingly. Not only will they buy willingly, they’ll also feel a sense of relief as they sign the contract.
Have you ever talked to a prospect and truly known that they have a pressing need for your product or service – but then seen them dither about actually saying “Yes”.
I used to see this before I refined my tools for setting up the sale properly. It’s one of the most depressing feelings that has nothing to do with wanting to close the sale and everything to do with wanting my prospects to get the results they desire and need. If you see that your prospect has a genuine need for your product, then it’s your responsibility to create that level of urgency by identifying the negative consequences of not taking immediate action.
It is so much easier to make decisions when you are:
- Acutely aware of your current pain – and the potential danger you face if you don’t address the problem;
- Emotionally attracted to an alternative future where the problem is solved and the pain has vanished;
- Logically satisfied that this is an excellent solution provided by a trustworthy partner;
- Impressed by the dangers of doing nothing and letting the problem slide; and
- Faced with an urgent deadline.
At this point you have three choices:
- Live with the problem;
- Find an alternative solution and evaluate it;
- Take the solution you’ve been offered.
However, IF you have built your sales presentation and customer experience carefully, THEN you will already have created trust and respect in your prospect to such an extent that they really only have a single option: to place their trust in your solution and take action.
Discover The Magic of Selling Without Resistance in Any Economy
My live webinar The Magic of Selling Without Resistance in Any Economy demonstrates the principles of setting up this kind of sale. It’s especially important to understand this process when you are facing an uncertain economy.
Visit: https://bit.ly/sales-magic to learn more and register for the next session.