10 Critical steps to get sales prospects to buy from you
Why do some salespeople struggle to get people to buy from them?
There are a number of reasons why this happens.
- The salesperson is not trained how to sell
- They believe selling is about telling and selling, not helping people buy
- They don’t know how to build rapport
- They don’t know how to build credibility
- They are poor listeners
- They don’t know how to ask effective questions
- They go into a sales meeting with a prospect unprepared
But most of all, because they don’t follow a sales process!
10 Steps to get prospects to buy from you
1. Establish rapport
Unless a buyer trusts you, they won’t buy from you. You must firstly build rapport so they are comfortable answering your questions about their problems and opportunities. Without being in rapport, they won’t open up to you.
2. Set the agenda
Let the prospect know why you are there. It’s to find out more about them and not to sell them something. Let them know how long it will take and get their permission to proceed. You do this so you are both really clear why you are meeting. Perhaps you met the prospect at a networking event and they may not remember you well or what you talked about. Perhaps you are there as a result of a referral or cold call, they don’t necessarily know why you are there. Telling them how long the meeting will take will give them some comfort that you are prepared and won’t waste their time.
3. Get their perception
Before you launch into any kind of sales pitch or start asking questions, you want to know what the buyer thinks about you, your business and your industry. Let’s say they had a bad experience either with a colleague, your products or services or even your industry, their perception is their reality. You could give the best sales pitch in the world – but having a negative experience in the past will definitely taint their perception.
Get any negativity out of the way first so you know where you stand by asking them – “What do you know about us?” If it’s positive, great move on. If it’s neutral, launch into your elevator pitch and value proposition. If it’s negative, tread with caution and deal with this as you would any objection. Get the yucky stuff out of the way first.
4. Establish credibility
Buyers want to be comfortable that you will deliver what you say you will. Establish credibility with your value proposition or testimonials so that you transition to the next steps which is the six steps of the Bi-Sell-Cycle™. The Bi-Sell-Cycle™ is simply the buying and selling process. When you match a buyer behavior with a selling process you are far more likely to have positive outcomes.
5. Find the need
The first step of the Bi-Sell-Cycle™ is to uncover the prospective buyers needs by asking effective questions. What you are looking for are symptoms something is wrong and the prospect has a problem or there is an opportunity out there for them. In the beginning, the prospect is unlikely to fully open up to you at first, especially if they don’t know you well. Even more reason to build and maintain rapport. The more the prospect talks, the more they will begin to like you and open up about their problems or opportunities.
6. Explore the impact
Step two of the Bi-Sell-Cycle™ is to explore the impact and consequences if the prospect doesn’t satisfy their needs. Without problems getting worse or opportunities disappearing, there is no motivation to buy. Buyers are only motivated by two things – to avoid pain or gain rewards. This step explores the pain they are experiencing or entices them with greater rewards which creates tension to buy.
7. Assess their target goals
Step three of the Bi-Sell-Cycle™ is to assess their target goals. From the questions you have asked, you are then in a position to assess what their target goals are. Their target goals are always going to be to avoid pain or gain rewards. They want someone to take away their problem or help them realize an opportunity. This is their dominant buying motive. At this point you have gained conditional agreement.
8. Tailor the solution
Step four of the Bi-Sell-Cycle™ is to tailor a solution to meet the prospects target goals and satisfy their needs. With a relatively simple sale, you may be able to do this while you are still in the meeting with the prospect.
Chances are you will need to go away to tailor a solution specifically to meet their target goals. It may mean coming back for a second meeting where you can present a quote, proposal or give a presentation. If you can’t close a sale on the spot and do have to go away to prepare a proposal quote or something else, leave with a firm time and date to meet them again. Do it on the spot if you can and reconfirm when you get back to your office.
Also ask the prospect, “Apart from you, who else is involved in the decision making process?” You want to find out who the real decision makers are and include them in future meetings if possible.
9. Sell them option
Step five of the Bi-Sell-Cycle™ is to sell them the option that best satisfies their needs and helps them achieve their target goal. Up to this point, you have done everything right and it’s time to close the sale. If you try to close a sale too early in the sales process you are likely to come up with an “I’m not interested thanks” objection. This is the reason you should not pitch your products and services too early.
10. Evaluate the outcome
Step six of the Bi-Sell-Cycle™ process is to evaluate the outcome. You want to make sure that after the customer has bought your solution, they are happy. Word of mouth advertising is the cheapest and best advertising you can receive. Always evaluate the outcomes once you have provided your products and services. If your solution did match their target goals – they are likely to become a repeat customer.
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