You know your pitch isn’t designed to make the sale, but to open opportunities. You’ve crafted your 30-second pitch nicely to pique interest, and it works! Now, what do you do?
Your first step should be to find out why a person is interested. Knowing this gives you solid clues about how to proceed with that particular person. You can’t explain the benefits of what you have to offer them without knowing what they think they need. What are the problems that need to be solved? (This is also a process to insure the prospect knows they have a problem, what it is and that you have a solution. And it puts you in the driver’s seat!)
Speaking of driving, let’s say, for example, you climb into your car and try to start it. It takes a few tries. You realize you have some kind of problem that could get worse, but you’re not exactly sure what it is. You take it to a mechanic to check it out. The mechanic immediately asks what you experienced when trying to start your car. You explain it as clearly as you can. As it turns out, there are several things that could be wrong. At this point, he explains it could be that the battery is drained, weak or dying; the starter needs to be replaced; or the ignition switch is wearing out.
Now, as the prospect, you want him to identify which of the three is causing the problem. Let’s say it’s the battery. Does it just need to be recharged? Is it not holding a charge and needs to be replaced? What exactly needs to be done? (We’ll say a new battery is needed.)
“Okay. So,” you ask, “what are the best batteries I can buy for the best price?” The mechanic explains the benefits, “This one even starts in extreme weather, it’s maintenance free, holds a charge for years, and is guaranteed for a full five years.” He knows, from your earlier conversation, that you don’t need to hear about cold cranking amp scores, corrosion free terminals, or the size of the reservoir. Those are good points but they are features, not benefits. The mechanic can bring those up later, if necessary, to help close the sale.
That’s straight forward. Easy. But you aren’t selling batteries, right?
I get it. What you sell is more difficult. It requires invoking your prospect’s desire to buy what you have to offer. It’s not necessarily an immediate need, like a car battery.
Let’s look at two more aspects of making the sale: overcoming the fear of change and building perceived value.
Let’s say you’re a computer technician and your prospects often show interest in your services because many are frustrated with their computers and aren’t particularly savvy about them. Most people you talk to are not ready to buy new computers but theirs run slow, crash, and more often than not, hasn’t been upgraded in a couple of years. (Good, you know your target customer.)
The biggest deterrent to making a sale now is the prospect’s fear of change. Would they have to relearn everything? Hmm, that does sound painful! Pull out and show or tell them all the benefits to ease their fears: end of frustrations, save time and money, quicker browsing, no more crashes, cool new tools, etc.
After you go through the benefits, just like the mechanic, the final step is perceived value. You have to state clearly, and make sure they understand, the impact of your solution to their problems. Help them “measure” that value. Their “old” computer will be as good as new! They’ll save a lot of money by upgrading and fixing issues as compared to buying a new computer.
You get the picture.
If you craft a “guided sales process” that leads your prospect from interest to purchase, you will greatly reduce the time it takes to close the sale, and you’ll increase the number of sales you make.
Now that’s worth your time, wouldn’t you say?
Let me hear from you. What can I help you with? What’s your biggest stumbling block in your sales process? What are some solutions?