4. Coach your prospects; don't sell them. I know that we've been taught how to sell. After all, that's our job! Problem is, most people have never been taught how to buy. We need to educate our prospects on our product and on the process of buying. Here are three steps to making this happen early in your sales process:
- Get the prospect emotionally "connected" to the situation your product can solve. In your case, you want to get prospects to feel the emotions of their loss or the potential risk of that loss. Example: "I understand that you recently had a break-in that cost you $22,000 in damages. How did you feel when you saw your front window smashed into thousands of pieces?"
- Establish the total cost and/or value of the situation. You need to create a total picture of what's at risk by not using your solution or what the total benefit of your solution is (fear- or reward-based motivation; see above). Example: "In addition to the financial loss, what other areas in your business were impacted as a result of your break-in?" Now you can introduce lost business due to the store's closure during repairs; the distraction, worry and fear of employees; the bad publicity; and so on. Whatever the case may be, make sure your prospect agrees with the total that's established here. In other words, these cannot be your numbers or assumptions; they must be your prospect's.
- Connect your product to the solution of the problem. Now the prospect is ready for you to connect the dots. Example: "Would you be interested in eliminating any future (loss of revenues, risk of break-ins, worry of employees/customers) with one simple, inexpensive idea that's guaranteed and is used by 25 other store owners here in town?" At this point, I strongly urge you to follow the golden rule of selling: Simply keep quiet and listen to what your prospect says.
Anthony Parinello is the author of the bestselling book Selling to VITO, the Very Important Top Officer. For additional information on his speeches and his newest book, Secrets of VITO, call (800) 777-VITO or visit www.sellingtovito.com.
The opinions expressed in this column are those of the author, not of Entrepreneur.com. All answers are intended to be general in nature, without regard to specific geographical areas or circumstances, and should only be relied upon after consulting an appropriate expert, such as an attorney or accountant.
Tony Parinello has become the nation's foremost expert on executive-level selling. He's also the author of the bestselling book bearing the name of his sales training program,Getting to VITO, the Very Important Top Officer, 10 Steps to VITO's Office,as well as the host of Club VITO, a weekly live internet broadcast.