Marketing textbooks discuss the 4 P’s of Marketing – Product, Price, Promotion and Place. Well, three out of four’s not bad, but the real issue regarding Place isn’t where you sell, but how.
It’s about mastering the four stages of any sales call – building trust, investigating needs, demonstrating capability and gaining commitment.
The old model of selling focused on building rapport. Selling today focuses on building trust. What’s the difference?
Rapport is a surface relationship – a connection based on technique, sometimes even manipulation. Trust is a deeper test – a connection based on real behavior. Rapport is the foundation for an occasional sale. Trust is the foundation for a long-term relationship.
How do you build trust? It starts with caring about the other party. It starts with focusing on service rather than selling. It starts with listening. Each of these elements – caring, serving, listening – never ends. Which method are you using on your sales calls – rapport or trust?
Let’s start with a few famous quotes:
“Nobody cares how much you know, until they know how much you care”
“Telling isn’t Selling”
“I keep six honest serving men (They taught me all I knew). They were what and why and when and howand where and who.”
There is only one way to understand what your prospect needs – by asking open-ended questions. Open-ended questions always start with one of the six honest serving men – they can not be answered “yes” or “no.”
You might also want to consider listening to your prospects answers to your finely crafted open-ended questions! Seek first to understand, then you can worry about being understood!
Do you speak features or benefits?
Features do nothing – only benefits demonstrate capability. Have you really isolated the benefits of your products or services? Here’s a test! Take the risk of asking your best customers why they purchased from you. Listen how they describe the experience. Do they talk about your features – or the results they experience using your products or services?
Follow the lead of your best customers. They know why they buy.
In golf, you drive for show and putt for dough. In selling, you demonstrate capability for show and gain commitment for dough.
Are you asking for the order after you’ve built trust, investigated needs and demonstrated capability? Are you still facing objections when you do ask? Are you walking away while they think about it?
There are no objections – only questions, concerns and conditions. If your prospect has a question, answer it! If they have a concern, address it. If they have a condition, resolve it – or move on!
Changing Your Sales Results
What are you doing every day to improve your sales methods? Here’s a prescription – work on improving one method each day:
Monday – work consciously on building trust
Tuesday – work consciously on investigating needs
Wednesday – work consciously on demonstrating capability
Thursday – work consciously on gaining commitment
Friday – see if you can put it all together
Repeat 52 weeks in a row and watch the impact on your sales results! That’s what we do with our sales outsourcing clients.
Are You Getting Better – or Worse – Every Week?