>I think one benefit of being in sales that most people miss is how incredibly interesting it is. Think about it, you get paid or make money, by going out and asking people all types of interesting questions and you get to listen and learn as they answer. How great is that!
People miss this experience, because they enter each call with the mindset of a sales person rather than a problem solver. They enter the call thinking “What can I sell this prospect,” or “This would be the perfect product for this person,” rather than entering the call thinking “I am interested to discover what challenges or opportunities this prospect is facing and how I can help.” You need to remember your prospect is not going to be interested unless you can help them clearly identify and easily solve their problems.
That is your job! You are a sales person yes, but the role you play is that of someone who is a problem solver. I like to think of sales calls as a “nice break” for the business owner or professional. This is their time to sit down with you, and tell you all about their business. They get to talk about the strengths, the challenges, opportunities they see and what really keeps them up at night. I believe, business owners and professionals are so busy they rarely get this opportunity, and a great sales person provides that for them. If you want to turn your prospects into customers, then you need to approach each sales call with the mindset that you are a problem solver.
Let me share with you an example of missed opportunity. This happened to me just last week.
My cable company called me to upgrade my service and add new and additional channels. I nicely listened to the salesman’s pitch (which I venture to say most prospects do not), and then I nicely informed him no one in our house watched television all that much. However, I told him, while he was on the phone, I would like to discuss bundling our services to save money. He immediately again tried to talk with me about the new “incredible” channels his company was offering.
Well, you can guess how the call continued. He tried to sell me a product I did not want, I tried to get him to talk about the service I did want. I ended the call with my overall cost reduced yes, however also with the mindset that I would never do additional business with that company. I felt this sales person did not listen, did not care, and had nothing to offer me that I wanted. The sad part about that is that as a sales trainer I know this is not true. Especially the part that he had nothing to offer me that I wanted. If he would have solved my problem, I would have been ready to listen. If he would have solved my problem, he would have uncovered other opportunities of how his products or services could benefit me. I would be ready to listen because my immediate need would have been met.
Great problem solvers follow these steps:
- They ask great questions
- They listen
- They identify the problem
- Discuss further with the prospect to ensure they fully understand
- Gain agreement from the prospect this is the right problem
- They create multiple solutions (ensuring the prospect remains in control)
- Work with the prospect to make the best decision for them (the prospect)
If you want to turn your prospects into customers, then approach each call with the mindset that you want to help people solve their problems.