The professional salesperson knows that the objective of the presentation is to involve the prospect and to get THEM to talk, because if THEY say it, it must be true. Here are 10 simple steps to help prospects see the truth for themselves.
1. Start with direct questions to get specific facts
(“What are you doing now?” / “How long have you worked with them?” / “What sort of service program do they have?”)
Of course, like any good attorney, you’ve done your homework and already know most of these answers. But remember, what you’re doing here is getting the prospect engaged.
2. Casually ask them how they feel about what they’re doing now
(“So, how’s that all going for you?”)
Naturally, they’re going to tell you that everything is fine. If they didn’t think everything was fine, they would already be seeking alternatives.
3. Have them tell you what they are most happy about in how they’re currently doing things
(“What do you like most about what you’re doing now?”)
You might think you’re undermining yourself by having them talk about why they’re happy now. No so! You’re identifying points you’ll need to address with feature/benefit statements later on. And also, you’re not threatening the prospect, and are encouraging them to open up.
4. Uncover an unmet need or dissatisfaction
Let’s face it: You’re not going to make the sale unless you can uncover some need that’s not being addressed or something they’re not satisfied with.
Start with a casual inquiry (“What would you like to do differently if you could?”)
If nothing is cited, ask for something specific (“If there was one thing you could change about what you’re doing now, what would it be?”)
If they still don’t come up with something, address a point about the competition you know to be a problem. But do so in the form of a question so that you don’t appear to be bad-mouthing the competition (“A number of our clients who used to work with that competitor have told us they had numerous problems with invoices and delivery. Has that been your experience?”)
5. Get them to elaborate on the consequences of that unmet need or dissatisfaction
(“How did that affect your receivables and cash flow?”)
Now they’re doing the talking and beginning to realize that they may not be all that happy after all.
6. Keep them talking with a turn-denying regulator
(“Did it really?” / “Ohhhh, no!”)
Son of a gun! Maybe they’re not all that happy after all!
7. Paraphrase what the prospect has said to confirm agreement
(“So you’re telling me you need the thing you like most, but also that unmet need, right?”)
The prospect has just given you permission to talk about what you have to offer
8. NOW and only now do you start to talk, with feature/benefit statements
(“Our product has Feature A, which gives you the thing you like most, and it also has Feature B, which addresses that unmet need. You won’t have those consequences again, will you?”)
You’re not just throwing spaghetti up against the wall hoping something will stick. Your feature/benefits are specifically targeted to what the prospect has said was important to them.
9. Throughout the presentation, respond to a request for information with a closing question
So, when the prospect asks “Do you deliver on weekends?”, don’t say “Yes, we deliver Saturday and Sunday.”, but say “Would Saturday or Sunday be best for you?”
10. Finally, ask for the order, not with a Yes or No question but by confirming a point of agreement
(“Will 500 be enough, or should we go with 600?” / “What credit card will you be using today?”)
Remember these 10 Steps to get the prospect to talk, and make your presentation a winner!