Total Prospect Understanding
TOTAL PROSPECT UNDERSTANDING – – –
Successful selling applying sales closing techniques are only effective if the prospect trusts us and has confidence in our ability as a sales professional.
A positive mental attitude and healthy leadership qualities are an essential trait to have as a sales professional, but will lead to nothing if the prospect questions our recommendations or integrity.
Most of us hate being sold too; preferring to make our own minds up on whether a product or service is for us or not.
To become a more successful sales professional we need to adapt and modify our “selling” skills/techniques to the art of allowing the prospect to “buy”.
This gets difficult in today’s one click world. Most prospects have access to the internet in one form or another. Never before has so much information been so readily available in such a short space of time. With live streaming, reading is also becoming somewhat archaic as it is quicker to listen and watch.
The question that really needs looking at is this: are we in an age of informed prospects or an age of confused prospects, having too much conflicting information at their fingertips, preventing them from making an informed decision?
When you are talking to prospects about your product or service you can safely bet they’ve had a browse online prior to meeting you about what you’re offering.
Never directly ask if they have taken a look online, as this might promote them to do so and walk away from a potential sale that could happen today instead of tomorrow. Also, it could send them off to a competitor where comparisons confuse even more.
Instead, the easiest transparent way to clarify if they’ve taken a look is to ask “What do you know about (your product or service)”. Let them talk and tell you.
Question their answers in a polite, professional way to get an overall view of if they are confused, informed or mis-informed.
The majority of prospects you question this way will demonstrate that most are confused. Secretly they’d love you to put them straight and tell them the facts to relieve the head spinning state the search engines have thrown them in to.
Dealing with confused prospects needs professionalism. If we choose to unleash sales techniques too early we will simply drive them away.
Firstly, we need to gain their trust and confidence as a person and a source of correct information. The way we do this is to transform ourselves in to a professional consultant; not a sales person.
Consider a doctor, before they diagnose or recommend any form of treatment, they must gain the patients confidence. They manage to do this by asking open key questions (who, what, where, when and why). These words force the patient in to an explanation rather than a one word answer.
Depending on the answers the patient gives, the doctor may dig a little deeper by further questioning until he/she is fully confident they totally understand the person and their symptoms. The patient will only have trust in the doctor and their recommendation once they feel they are totally understood.
In sales, we need to demonstrate these professional traits too. Our prospects trust comes from the confidence they feel in our abilities and competence as a person.
Our prospects must feel they are totally understood. To achieve this we need to;
Question our prospects with regards to their needs. This is done through smart open relevant questions. For example, find out what they have been using in the past (if relevant). How it worked for them? What didn’t work for them? What they’d wish to achieve with your product? Really dig!
Actively listen when they talk. Never interrupt them or try to finish their sentences. Don’t sit like a statue; instead relax, nod, smile at appropriate moments. Use body language to demonstrate you’re listening.
Once you feel as though you understand your prospect and their needs, recap it back to them. “Let me just recap with you John and Mary to make sure I totally understand…..”
This 3 step process I like to call TPU; Total Prospect Understanding. TPU will allow your prospects to gain trust in your ability as a professional as you’ve just demonstrated it’s about them, not you. You’ve taken the time to understand their needs instead of simply assuming.
A bi-product of TPU is a greater strengthening of your relationship with your prospects. Remember, the first sale that’s made, is you.
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