8 Questions Every Salesperson Should Ask Before Selling
Have you ever handed someone a proposal absolutely convinced that it would be a home run, only to face both defeat and frustration instead?
Landing a sale is a lot more than handing someone a proposal and expecting the product to just sell itself. There are still a few critical factors that determine whether or not a customer actually buys the product from you.
Test your knowledge and see how familiar you are with the Toolkit every salesperson needs for success.
1. Who Is Your Customer?
In order to solve a client’s problem, you need to have an understanding of what their need or pain areas are. Knowing who your customer is (and knowing them well) can help you discover what is causing the problem and how you can use your understanding of their pain areas to present solutions.
It’s when you really know your customer that anticipatory selling will come to you more and more like second nature. You’ll be able to better anticipate their problems and how to solve them, as well as predict their concerns and objections. Knowing your customers will also help you weather their inevitable rejections.
Apple and Ritz-Carlton are two of the best examples to illustrate the importance of knowing your customers. They paid attention to the trends of their competitor’s products and then created a product based on the needs of their customers. Apple invests millions into their research in order to discover what design and function most connect to their evolving customer base. Are you able to read your customer’s mind to predict the next move?
2. What Are You Selling?
Everybody is selling their products but what’s really being sold is the experience of a lifetime. This is where we see the benefit winning over the features and products themselves.
Think about what you are really offering your customers? Is it just the shiny surface, or is there some kind of experience that your product offers? Thinking “outside of the box” on this one can help a lot, so try brainstorming the different angles in which your products are giving your customers their own experience of a lifetime.
We at Encore Consulting Group strive to create an experience ADAPTIVE LEARNING for our clients which offers their employees learning that they will actually enjoy. It is more of a practical approach rather than the standard textbook approach. Enjoyable learning helps in retaining the subject matter, which then turns into a greater long-term return on their investment.
3. What’s Your Bait to get faster access to a new customer?
When you go to the grocery store you will find that they keep their bait products at the very farthest points of the store. If bread and milk are the most common products their customers need, placing them at the back positions customers to discover other products that they could use. It’s the same in the sales world. You need a product that your customers will really need; a staple of your business. Getting to the bait gives you opportunities to position other benefits and solutions for your clients.
Another point to mention is that you will want to keep the pricing of those bait products competitive, even aggressive. If it’s a big need then you can be sure that others are out there trying to fill the same void as you are. Keeping up with your competitor research can greatly help you maintain a competitive edge to your sales strategy.
4. Do You Know Your USP?
Your Unique Selling Proposition is a critical step to the sales process. What is the unique attribute of your product, something that stands out? Put yourself in your client’s shoes for a few minutes. When all the products sitting in a row do the same thing, how can you decide which to choose? How do they stand out? Their unique points, differences, and features determine how customers choose which one fits their needs best. One company who stands out as having a clear USP is Energizer Battery. They use their mascot, the Energizer Bunny, as well as their advertising campaigns to clearly make their distinction to their customers.
Encore Consulting Group doesn’t do the cookie cutter training that a lot of other training companies do, but rather create something completely customized to each individual client. No two workshops will be exactly the same as we focus on using adaptive learning. And in a cookie cutting world, that helps us stand out.
5. Do You Focus on A definitive Solution?
It’s important to remember that features don’t nail down the sale. What you are selling needs to give your client some kind of return on their investment. What are the pain areas that your solutions tailor to and addresses? It’s not the bells and whistles that are really going to get them to come to you in the first place, but rather their pain areas. So while the bells and whistles can help you to stand out, just don’t forget to keep the real focus on solutions and the relief to your customer’s pain.
6. Custom vs. Customization?
A company may try to cater to a specific audience and create products that are then customized to their needs. And while this can solve problems for customers, being able to customize and have control of their own experiences will, for the most part, win out over a custom product. Will you buy your next suit from the liquidation store or Nordstrom or get it tailor made? How can you give the next tailor-made experience to your customer?
The best company to example this point is Blackberry. They were once the top mobile device brand because they specifically customized their product to the needs of their customers, chiefly mobile security. But once Android came out giving their customers the ability to customize their own experience, Blackberry faded from view.
7. Do You Have a Story to Tell?
Data will not connect with customers anywhere near as successfully as emotions will. One of the best ways to connect to a client’s emotions is to share positive stories. Some stories act like testimonials, bringing to the table past successes and the adventures that got you there. Others can be more of a personal nature, bringing your experiences as an individual into play.
Customers enjoy learning that you too, have encountered some challenges or pain areas in your business (and life) and what you did to overcome or accomplish under those circumstances.
A lot of businesses have a story to tell, the greatest businesses know when and how to tell it. What is your story and how could it help you to better engage with your customers? Could you use this strategy to better help others relate to you and the inspiration that drives your business?
At Encore Consulting Group we sell Emotional Intelligence. We connect our clients with a deeper grasp and more genuine understanding of what Emotional Intelligence is and how vital a role it plays in their successful interaction with others. When it comes to training managers, a better understanding helps them to be better leaders, which can, in turn, increase performance and the quality of employee output.
8. Do You Have Complementary Products?
Generally, complementary products are connected by demand from existing customers. When you have a bait product you are more likely to get new customers to purchase it. If you offer the compliment they need, you are more likely to get that sale than someone else.
It’s also important to note that complementary products also address a pain area and appeal to your customer for the solutions that it offers, even if it is a complementary effect. When I had my chain of print shops in New York, we went from being a small printer to a copy house to color copying to a mailing house, all under one roof. Same customers but additional business.
Do you have other products that compliment your main product?
The Big Picture
So putting it all together, it is important to know your customers and what you are selling. You need to appeal to their pain areas to offer your bait product as their solution. Bring clients in with the bait first, then dazzle them with the shiny extras of your USP and complementary products. Offer them a level of customization with choices. And don’t forget! There’s no need to be afraid to incorporate your story. This will make you more relatable to their issues! Try out these tools for yourself and see if they help you improve your efforts and sales conversions.
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Trushar Mody is BUSINESS STRATEGIST, SOFT SKILLS TRAINER, OUTSIDE-THE-BOX THINKER AND THOUGHT PROVOKER. He is a Warehouse of knowledge and wants to share it. His passion lies in teaching Wholestic Learning and Emotional Intelligence.
Trushar Mody is a role model who has extended himself to help others along their own journeys. He works from his passion of helping people live their lives with purpose and without fear. He is a managing partner and senior trainer at Encore Consulting Group.