Let’s face it: Sales can be tough. Markets are crowded. Competition is fierce. Consumers are savvy. We’re all clamoring for attention, trying to get a bigger piece of the pie. What if I told you there may be an easier way? A way to possibly turn the tables and transform your wary sales prospects into your very own sales person. Believe it or not, there is.
Sales prospects simply can’t accommodate every entity that wants them to part with their money. But by asking a simple question—asking your prospect to use a very simple ranking system—you may end up with a client who’s explaining all the reasons they should buy from you.
1. Make Your Pitch
Consider laying out the reasons why your prospect should give you their business. Explaining your points of difference and presenting your solutions to the troubles that plague them may help. Pour your passion into it, and make your case. There’s nothing unusual or tricky here. You’re simply explaining what you offer.
2. Ask for Questions
You can give your prospect the chance to ask for clarification or for more information to make sure they understand what you're offering them. Before you move on, consider asking if they need anything else clarified or cleared up. Any questions or concerns are addressed before you move on.
3. Ask Them to Rank Their Interest...
You may want to ask your sales prospects to tell you, on a scale of 1-10, where they rank their interest in working with you. (With one meaning no way and 10 meaning they're ready to go.)
If they say five or less, then you may not have adequately addressed their needs. Consider regrouping, going back to the basics and finding out what needs you haven’t yet spoken to. Determining what was missing from your pitch may help you figure out what your prospect wants from you. Most people rank themselves from six to nine. If the number they give you is in that range, consider giving this same answer to all sales prospects: “Your ranking is higher than I thought it would be. I thought you would say (fill in the blank with one number lower). Why did you go so high?”
4. ...And Listen to Their Answer
While answering this question, your customer may begin to explain why they ranked you at, for example, an eight. They may list the reasons they should buy from you. They may tell you how great your product or service is. They may mention your warranty or your rewards program or your reputation. Not only do you hear your prospect making your pitch for you, but more importantly, your prospect hears it too. They’re making your case. They’re selling your stuff. Sit back and enjoy the moment, but just for a second. You’re not quite finished.
5. You Close the Deal
When the prospect is finished singing your praises, it’s time to turn them into a customer. “That’s wonderful. I see all the reasons why you want to trust us with your business. Are you ready to proceed? What’s your time frame? What’s a good date to wrap things up?” Finish by asking for the sale.
Just as people love to hear their own name, they may also love to hear the sound of their own voices. While we may be built to be wary and skeptical of slick sales pitches, we’re not as likely to argue with ourselves. When you get sales prospects to say the words—to explain how great your company is—then it may be possible to change the whole game. You’re deputizing your sales prospects as one of your salespeople.
I find that as long as I’ve done a good job of explaining the extraordinary value and service my company provides, then this method works the majority of the time. When it doesn’t work, it’s usually because the sales prospect isn’t in the market for my services, or in some cases, it’s because I’ve made assumptions—taken for granted that the prospect was familiar with a concept I should have explained. Once I take a step back and cover the basics, then in all likelihood, I’m closing that sale.
Read more articles on marketing & sales.