Chill out on the hard-selling
Nobody wants to be ‘sold’ to. It’s the digital equivalent of the sales assistant that follows you around the store, or the seller that reels off a load of benefits that you just aren’t interested in. In particular if you work in high-value sales and service sales forget all the old lessons about the need to close. The most successful sales professionals listen and ask questions to establish their customer’s needs. Their aim is to become a trusted advisor; guiding customers through the various options available.
They know that it is their job to:
- Spend time building relationships
- Understand needs
- Help clients justify the purchase with an understanding of the return on investment
- Write compelling proposals
Having a great pipeline full of leads that aren’t going anywhere doesn’t help anyone. You end up chasing deals you will never win, or trying to sell to people who are never going to buy. Your Sales Manager pressures you about when your deals are all going to close and your forecasts are inaccurate or riding on optimism. Spending more time qualifying your leads and opportunities can massively reduce the amount of time you spend on the above. Ask yourself a few simple questions before you rush off and visit your prospect:
- Can I offer them something they need/want?
- Can I describe my offering in a unique and special way that sets me apart from my competitors
- Do they have money to buy?
- Can I win the deal?
If you can answer ‘Yes’ then proceed and prepare for that important meeting. Consider doing some research before you attend. Think about:
- What do I need to find out about their needs and what they value?
- What can I find out about their organisation?
In other words, do your homework and qualify the opportunity. Qualifying your opportunity saves time in the long run and gives you time back to nurture those relationships and spend time with the important people that are going to buy.
Software Qualification Tools
If you are serious about the profession of sales, you could consider investing in qualification software such as Win Maestro. Features such as the customisable qualification questionnaire generates a graphical representation of your sales opportunity. So you can see how well qualified it is and what actions you need to take to win.