We have all heard the term “preconceived notion.” This is where we form an idea or an opinion before we can prove it’s usefulness (or truthfulness). Unfortunately we are somewhat programmed to create these preconceived notions. We do it with other people, with places we go, and even with ourselves. But today I would like to share with you why developing preconceived notions is one way to ruin every sale you are presented with.
I am a huge advocate for profiling a prospect or client prior to meeting with them. You should know their likes and dislikes, their tendencies, their past buying experiences (concerning your products and services), and more. I am also a huge advocate for knowing how your products and services can fit into their business. You’re the expert so be prepared to speak like it. BUT……
Knowing things about your client and being an expert in your field lends itself to you telling the client what they need. That is not your purpose, especially prior to you making the sale. Prior to making the sale, your sole purpose is to listen. Telling leads to failure. Listening leads to success. So what should you be listening for? Here are five simple things:
- If the client could solve anything in their business (whether related to your business or not), what would it be?
- What is the biggest challenge they face daily in their position (related to the above or not)?
- Why are they taking time to speak with you about your products and services?
- Do they already purchase what you offer and are unsatisfied?
- Are they interested in what you have to offer though they’ve never bought before?
- Did you sell them on the idea of getting in there though they have no interest (in this case, quit wasting your time)?
- If they have expressed interest in your products and services, ask them what they think your offerings will do for their business.
- Have them prioritize these areas when it comes to purchasing a new product or service.
- Support – this could be related to an issue or even just delivery of your product/service.
- Relationship – do they desire a deep level of continued interaction between the sales rep and themselves?
- Value – is it important that they can measure (in time or money) the return they receive on purchasing from you?
- Price – strictly the cost associate with your product/service.
- Compatibility – your product/service fitting with what they already do.
I hate to see people ruin sales, yet I am led to believe it happens way too often. If you think you are ruining sales, or just want to make sure you aren’t, let’s talk. I’d be more than happy to talk through your needs analysis questions with you and come up with the most effective approach.
As always, you can call or email me anytime you need. Just don’t ruin another sale!