salesman showing inside of a car to a woman.

Note to Sales #30. Challenging the Prospect 2 - Teaching

Posted: 6th October 2016

There is a lot of talk in sales about finding a prospect’s needs and highlighting your service’s benefits.  This is done by quizzing the prospect “What are you looking for?” followed by the response “We can give you that”.

If only it were that easy. 

There are two major flaws in this very simplistic approach.  Firstly, we will inevitably be in competition and the first thing the prospect will say is “how much does it cost?” quickly followed by “I can get it cheaper”.   The second flaw is that we assume the prospect knows what is best for him.

This is what I call “couch selling” - you sit back and wait for it all to happen.

So how do we get the prospect to think that he has to have your offering no matter what the cost? 

You are going to buy a car and know what you want.  You go to the showroom and start negotiating on the price.  But after some banter the sales person says “but have you thought about this model” he explains that it has the same performance but half the emissions, he calculates that you will save £300 a month on tax.  He also tells you that your favourite celebrity has just bought one.    Very few have been made and he only has two for sale - and he can reserve one for you today.

Great sales people aren’t so much world-class investigators as they are world-class teachers. They win not by understanding their customers’ world as well as the customers know it themselves, but by actually knowing their part of the customers’ world better than their customers know it themselves, teaching them what they don’t know but should.

If you can help a prospect identify new opportunities increase sales, cut costs and mitigate risk in ways they themselves have not yet thought of then they will want to deal with you.

It’s not enough explain our services to the prospect you need to teach them how using our services helps them and their business. 


That’s next week……

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