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Sales on the slide? Then OPEN the door

Helen Roberts

30-11-20
Increasing sales - opening door

Increasing lead generation and sales in the current climate

Human beings are hardwired to avoid pain and gain pleasure. Scientific fact. Ok, but how does that help you in this Covid pandemic when you are being challenged like never before from every angle, sales have taken a hit, staff are being laid off , customers are going bust and it seems the world is more uncertain than ever?

In this short article I’ll explain how reminding of this fact can help you improve your close rates, increase sales and improve your prospecting and lead generation.

There is no way your customers can get to realise the value of your product or service if they cannot see clearly how bad their current situation is – the ‘pain’. To win more business, it’s your role to not only make your prospect realise the severity of their current state but also see that by using your solution is the only way to move away from that state to become ‘headache free’.

But how do we do this ? In simplest terms we ask great questions and listen deeply to the answers. ‘OPEN ‘ questions selling is an effective sales system, the acronym is used to help us remember what type of questions to ask:

Operational

What is the current business situation? How does the operation work? How many employees do you have ?  Where are your offices located? The idea is that you are trying to find out about the big picture. Frame your questions so it’s not an interrogation.

Probing

The goal here is to uncover difficulty, often unrealised by the prospect . The apparent pain is never the real pain, as the saying goes.  If they are experiencing problems with IT support , we need to probe more – what aspect ? Are there concerns about the quality of the sub-contractors’ work, what are they? If it is the quality, in what way?

Effect

These are the most powerful questions – you are trying to ‘explode’ the problems into other areas of the business and build the ‘headache’ –  how do the ‘problems’ impact on profit, time, employees, or customers? What are the implications?

Nail down

These help you understand where your customer wants to be.  What would their world look like if their current problems disappeared? What are they looking to accomplish? How would solving these problems affect them, their organisation and their employees? Would it help if you could find them a more effective way to order parts, etc.?

Always ask ‘WHY?’

To understand the customer’s intrinsic motivation, this is the true force behind your customers need to change. It will take patience but is essential to understand their needs and provide a customised solution.

During the process you will also ask questions about their emotional state because human beings are creatures of emotion and not logic (remember pain and pleasure?).  If you are able to successfully do this, your prospects are more inclined to act.

If your competitors still seem to be winning business and you aren’t, ask yourself if you have really uncovered the prospect’s real pain and pleasure and keep asking WHY?

 

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