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What’s your sales methodology? How do you close a deal? Whether you know it or not, every business has its desired selling technique which is unique in its own way either it be a small organization consisting of a single salesperson or an organization with a sales team of ten people or a globalized sales force.
This article talks about the solution-based selling process primarily focused on the experience that the potential customer (the lead) feels and sees during their interactions with you. It’s about how you find ways to provide your leads with value and make it all about them and not your product which is sometimes also referred as “consultative selling.”
Solution selling is a sales methodology in which the sales representative strives to understand the customer’s needs and then addresses it by recommending the appropriate products or services. Hence, creating a sale along with developing a life-time relationship with the client.
There are six principles to consultative sales process helping you to close deals faster and build rapport beyond expectations.
The research phase of consultative sales involves inbound marketing which means to gather data on your leads like company size and social media behaviors. Furthermore, you can also gather heaps of information on the sort of content your lead is most interested in which gives you an idea of the priority questions they have in their minds. Therefore, you should always research the lead thoroughly before moving forward.
Be certain in asking open-ended questions when speaking with the lead. As a result of your research, you will have almost all the information about your lead which may tempt you to assume that you know everything which should be known about them. This is a big mistake though. The point is to let the lead offer the information themselves, contributing to the trust that you are trying to build.
Ask questions that start with the words: Who, What, Where, How, Why, and When!
- What are your organizational challenges?
- How can we help you to change your organization culture?
Avoid starting questions with words like Do, Are, You, and Can as these types of questions tend to lead to a yes or a no answer.
- Do you want team building training?
- Are you interested in consultancy?
Questions are one of your greatest sales tools. The purpose of asking questions is to gradually discover the lead’s goals, the plan to reach to those goals, the challenges in executing this plan and the timeline in reaching them. Also try to uncover their budget and find out the level of authority of the person you’re speaking to. You can find whether they are an end user, an influencer, or a decision maker or the person who controls the budget. All that is required is to ask the right question!
Active listening is the most important thing a great salesperson can do. Keep yourself focused on the person who is talking and be ready to respond to what they say. The purpose is to make sure that both people understand what the other is saying.
As you practice active listening, the information obtained will help you qualify or close the lead. Be very attentive to their tone, pitch, and level of enthusiasm as those elements will help you decide the next move.
Tip: Try to interpret their facial expressions in order to catch their areas of interest and then go about it accordingly.
Active listening requires you to be responding, and while responding you should be looking for opportunities in order to make an impact. This is not only about making an impact about your product or service on the lead but it is more about facilitating the lead to overcome their challenges along with developing a plan to reach those goals.
Tip: You must balance out the knowledge you provide aligning it with the questions you ask and the answers you get in return. It should always be about making an impact via facilitating your lead.
A qualified lead has goals, a well-defined timeline, challenges to overcome, most probably a plan and a budget. On the contrary, an unqualified lead is not of any less benefit than a qualified lead. It provides you with a chance to facilitate, be friendly, and move on. Whereas, qualified leads provide you with the chance to help, be friendly, and sell. The sooner you identify the lead according to your product or service, the better it is. Don’t linger on closing unqualified leads as it will be harmful for you in the long run. It is preferable to spend the maximum amount of time providing the maximum attention to the qualified leads rather than the unqualified ones.
It is easier to close your qualified leads as they have budget along with the authority to approve the purchase. If any kind of pushback occurs during the selling process or at the time of closing, convey your best regards to the clients and hope for future business.
The closing sequence should feel natural to you as well as to the lead. Closing the leads that are appropriate according to your business can increase the retention rate of those new customers.
Tip: Remember that hearing the word ‘NO’ is a part of your daily job and you should never be angry with the client or convey any consequences of any sort.
Dr. Arif Pyarali is working at Learning Minds Group (LMG) as a trainer and consultant. He sees himself as a happiness consultant, an agent of inspiration and passion, who helps people find their strength, enhance their potential for achievement, elevate their state of well-being, and socially empower them with his charismatic style of influencing!
Qandeel Tejani is a Consultant – Training & OD at Learning Minds Group (LMG). She believes that hard work never goes unpaid and puts in all her efforts to be a successful management consultant. Being an expressive person, Qandeel loves to share her experiences and ideas in an enthusiastic way.