Before anything can happen in business, someone must make a sale. In this five part series, Alex Pirouz outlines the dos and don’ts of successful selling.
Attention entrepreneurs, business builders and sales professionals: it’s a lot easier to deliver what your client wants if you know what that is.
Identifying your client’s needs upfront will enable you to deliver an improved experience, saving both time and money in the process. And the best part is you can finally throw out that crystal ball.
Customers are out there and ready to buy. If you don’t spark their interest, they’ll find someone who can. And fast. So what’s the best way to discover what a customer wants? You ask. By asking targeted questions you’ll quickly and painlessly gain insight into the client’s formula and reasoning.
After extensive testing, the question that’s produced the best results for me is: ‘When looking for a [insert product/service] what would you need to happen to know whether it’s the right one for you?’
Let’s say, for instance, you’re a car salesman who wants to figure out what your clients are looking for in a vehicle. You proceed by asking them: ‘Mr Jones, when looking for a car, what would need to happen for you to know which is the right one for you?’
Mr Jones: ‘To be satisfied I’d need it to be black; have air conditioning; power steering; low on fuel and KMs; and have a good engine.’
Now you’ve uncovered what Mr Jones wants in a car, it’s time to figure out if you can deliver. If you can, close the deal. If you can’t, be upfront and let him know it’s not something you can help with.
Let’s face it, no one likes being sold to. But we love to buy and feel like we’ve made the right choice. Once you know you can deliver on the client’s needs, ideally you want them to convince themselves that they should buy from you. I call this strategic process ‘reversing a sale’.
Reversing a sale works by qualifying the client through a series of well thought out questions that, when answered, take away any objections they may have.
By reversing a sale, you’ll benefit in the following ways:
- You’ll be in a position of authority
- You’ll never be rejected by a client again
- By going through a more thorough qualification process your close ratio will be much higher
- Because the clients sell themselves on why they should use you they’re less likely to seek a refund
- Using the qualification process allows you to avoid an emotional attachment on the outcome of the sale
By qualifying clients you’ll dramatically reduce the number of objections you handle, and make the entire sale process a lot smoother for both you and your client.
Creating a qualification process is not a one-day job. You’ll be required to research your target market, then continuously test and measure. The benefits, however, will be manifold.
Alex Pirouz is the founder of RIDC Advisory Pty Ltd. A Business and Sales Advisory firm partnering with the top 1% of Australia’s largest and fastest growing companies to further increase their sales revenue.