Have you ever met a sales person who has all the excuses? The reasons that the sale just didn’t happen; it’s never their fault is it! Many business owners make the same mistakes. This article will help, if you do the selling yourself or have to manage sales people. Any winning sales person, who is in control of a sale, will know the answers to the six questions revealed here – if they don’t – then don’t start spending your profits, just yet!
I have kept this article short and sweet. Just ask yourself these questions or your sales people in relation to each opportunity they are pursuing. They should know the answers. If they don’t go find them – they are the key to winning sales.
What is more important, not only do you win the sales, but you win them faster and without having to give the whole show away as a discount. The reason will become apparent.
- Who is the Decision Maker – Who makes the purchases at your company? You need to talk to the equivalent person or group at your client’s company! I have seen too many sales lost, or should I say not won, by not speaking to the guy who writes the checks.
- What is the Enablement Value – don’t tell your prospect what your product does, ask what your product would enable them to do and help them put a value on that! If you can’t get the client to express the value of ownership of your product or service, in their terms – you just become an annoying cost.
- What is the Timing of the Purchase – when do they need this by, what happens if they don’t get it by then, what will that cost them? If you go order a new car, it is due in 2 weeks just before you are going on a long journey – and it is late! – do you get upset? Well the key here is when and why will your prospect become upset if they did not have your product – because if it does not really matter that much, you will have problems parting them with their money.
- What is the effect of Organizational change – what would happen if people were to move jobs or roles would that change the decision process? Again this is about being prepared. I met a guy today who had spent six months working on a bid to a customer. The customer had agreed, they were about to sign the contracts and the customer got taken over – no sale. Could he have been prepared for that?
- What External Events could affect the sale – are there anything external to the company like large customers, their competitors or the economy that could change the decision process? Probably the most difficult to alter, but by knowing dependencies on external factors, could help you plan for change. In the most simplistic sense, a local filling station on the edge of a town, with a planned by-pass, might need to change their strategic direction.
- Who is the Competition – do you know and understand exactly what your competition could be offering and whom they are talking to? Probably the most overlooked and least prepared for competitor is called Inaction. A winning sales person will know the competition, including doing nothing and will mitigate, where possible against it.
By always asking these six questions, you will increase your chances of success hugely. You may not win every time, but at least your profits will be substantially up.
This article was written by Peter Lawless, founder of 3R Sales and Marketing – www.3r.ie. For previous articles like this, visit 3R’s Articles. Alternatively, subscribe to Success our free monthly Information Bulletin with sales and marketing articles.