Early in my corporate sales career I frustrated the heck out of many of my prospects.
We’d have meeting after meeting. I’d find out all about them, what their issues were. Where they wanted to get to. Even how our solution would help.
But I never segued from a “general” conversation into presenting the solution and gaining commitment.
So I’d get comments like, “Rashid, we’ve met a number of times. Where do we go from here?”
I’d reply with, “Where would you like to go?”
“Well, you tell me!”, they’d reply.
Having worked with hundreds of business owners over the last 15 years, I can tell you this is a very common scenario.
Most professionals (Financial Planners, Accountants, Lawyers etc.) feel uncomfortable “selling”.
So they sit in initial meetings, ask questions, often give advice, but don’t have an effective way of seguing into presenting their services and getting commitment to get paid.
So if you’re good at delving into their issues but have trouble moving into presenting your services, this structure will fix that.
But first, let’s cover the most essential component. Your mindset!
Your intent must be to find out if you can help them!
And if so, recommend a course of action
Make them a client!
To do this you must control the agenda.
Start by framing the meeting this way.
“In our time together I’d like to accomplish 3 things…
Find out more about you, your current circumstances, what you’d like to achieve and the challenges in your way.
Then I’ll tell you a little about myself
And finally, I’ll discuss how our services could help you.”
Doing this sets up the expectation in your prospect’s mind that you will present a solution at the end.
Now all you have to do is follow these steps. Presenting a solution just becomes part of the natural flow.
This is the overall structure of the process and the order of events.
- The Prospect’s Situation
- The Prospect’s Desired Outcomes
- Impact of Achieving Their Outcomes
- Challenges in the Way of Achieving Outcomes
- Implications of Challenges Sabotaging Outcomes
- Possibilities of Overcoming Challenges
- Actions you are willing to take to achieve your goals
- Future Pace
- About You
- Presenting Your Services
- Confirming Commitment
- Program Overview and Price
In this article I’ll start with steps one to three – finding out more about them and what they want and the impact of getting it. We’ll cover the rest in subsequent articles as well as a crucial final step most people miss.
You’ve made your opening statement as above.
Now my standard question is, “Why are you here?”
Every prospect has their own unique reasons for being there and results they want. Your job is to elicit them through the judicious use of questions.
Don’t assume anything about them or their situation. Have an attitude of curiosity, not judgement.
Your mindset must be like a Doctor’s. First you diagnose… Then you prescribe!
Remember the golden rule of all purchasing decisions.
We buy on emotion and justify our actions with logic.
Therefore your job is to find out what’s important to them on an EMOTIONAL level…
Then show them how you can help them achieve whatever it is!
So when they tell you what they want, don’t stop at the surface answer.
Dig deeper. Why this is important to them? How will achieving their outcomes impact their lives?
Examine it from different angles. You’re looking for an emotional payoff they’ll get when they achieve what they want.
How will you know you’ve got there? They’ll use “feeling” and “emotive” words.
WRITE THEM DOWN!
You’ll be linking back to these feelings all the way through the rest of the process. Look out for these articles over the next few weeks.
But there have to be reasons they haven’t been able to get their outcomes yet. Which is presumably why they’re talking to you.
We’ll cover how you dig deeper into their challenges and pain in the next episode. Look out for it.
In the meantime, if you’re not closing business with prospects who you feel could use your services, call us for some specialised sales coaching. Small tweaks in your process could make a major difference in your results.