“I’ve got a great product, and I know this prospect can use it, but I can’t get this person interested.” Sound familiar. Well the problem to this dilemma is not the competition or your price. It's the word “I”. Look how many times “I” is used.
Try restating in terms of the prospect. It may look something like, “You’ve got a problem you need to solve as it relates to …. You’re probably looking for solutions and you’re trying to find someone to help you. I’m curious what you see as your problem and what your concept of a solution for it is?”
Sales people approach a prospect with the attitude that they have a great offering the prospect has to have. I mean, “What company doesn’t need it?” I mean, “It’s all about me.” Unfortunately sales people don’t realize they are doing this. However, depending on the prospect’s frame of mind, the sales person can come off as helpful, presumptuous, out of touch, and/or annoying or rude.
Now the prospect may need your offering, or need it, but doesn’t realize it, or s/he may realize it, but not want to deal with it at this time, or may feel s/he doesn’t need it. Good prospecting would say determine which one it is and have an approach for each in order to move to the next step.
Since the sales person sees the situation from his viewpoint, and is confident of the need, and is anxious to sell something, he becomes pushy in an attempt to engage the prospect. There is an adage, “Selling starts when the customer says, ‘No’.” This is crazy. Actually selling starts when the customer says, “Tell me more.” So how do you get the prospect to say that? You find out what problems s/he sees as pressing and fit you’re offering around those problems.
Realize you have to stop pushing what you have to offer. It’s annoying.
Practice interview questions to uncover what benefits / solutions the person wants as it relates to your product / service, and why s/he wants them. It’s rewarding.
Never assume to know what someone wants or what problems s/he is facing – especially a senior executive. It’s stupid.
Tak’n It to the Streets
a. Develop interview questions.
What will you say or ask to find out what your next prospect wants or what her issues are?
For example ask, “What issues are you facing currently as it relates to ….?” If she says, “None” be prepared to offer some benefits, you thinks she should be interested in. If she still says not interested, move away from this person – not necessarily the account.
How will you prevent yourself from presenting?
Repeat to yourself, “I must present only what he wants. So I can’t present until he tells me what that is. If I do, the buzzer sounds and I lose.”
Who’s talking – you or the prospect? Check yourself when you’re with a prospect. If you’re talking are you answering his questions or pushing your product.
Modify your attitude to the prospect. Change your approach to get the prospect to do the talking. And finally prepare yourself before every encounter to pull this off because your natural instincts are to do the opposite.
And now I invite you to learn more.
Bonus Tip: FREE E-Book “Getting Past Gatekeepers and Handling Blockers” . Also, learn how to handle 50 tough selling situations and difficult closing problems with my TAKE ME TO YOUR LEADER$ Problem Solving Manual
Sam Manfer is the leading expert on selling to CEOs and powerful people. Sam is a sales strategist, entertaining key note speaker and author of TAKE ME TO YOUR LEADER$, The Complete Guide to C-Level Selling – getting to and influencing top level decision-makers. Sam makes it easy for any business owner, manager or sales professional to generate quality leads, and beat the competition. Grab your FREE E-Books, Articles and other Advanced Sales Training Tips at http://www.sammanfer.com
Bonus Tip: FREE E-book “Getting Past Gatekeepers and Handling Blockers”
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