How to Avoid Losing A Sale
Today, we will look at the importance of painting a picture for the client. Failure to provide a very concise picture of how the solution you provide solves his or her problem could make or break the sale.
Let’s take a look at a typical sales process. In the first meeting (in-person, on the phone, by email or combination of all 3), the seller learns about the customer’s needs and shares the details of his own offering. Customers generally ask “How much?” and we respond by sending them a proposal. A proposal usually looks more like a legal document than a persuasive essay. Giving someone a proposal does not obligate them to decide and often does not convince an on-the-fence customer to decide right away in the seller’s favor. What’s missing?
The story. The biggest proof that your products and services really work is that others are buying them. Sellers need a story version of the explanation on why similar customers have bought from them. The best stories are data-backed and include the details of how urgently another customer was looking for a solution and how happy they are now. That story works best if the seller can provide a “drill-down” of details such as:
The customer’s real goals – What was the seller’s approach to due diligence to learn their customer’s real goal?
What research data and other pre-meeting preparation did the seller conduct that not only helped them close the deal but helped the customers better understand their challenges and their options?
What did the seller learn that resulted in the development of novel, original solutions?
How did the seller and customer work together to define benchmarks and KPIs and multiple paths to success?
How did the seller become a trusted partner throughout this experience?
Most sellers need about 10-12 of those stories:
why a very big customer bought
why a small company bought
why a company that was already buying from the competition bought
why a company that had previously never bought from anyone and only solved their problems with in-house resources finally bought and continues to buy today
why a company with a very similar challenge - and particularly a contact within that firm who is a counterpart to the your prospect - bought
Sellers can make their stories more engaging and impactful by personalizing them. Show the prospect that you/your team have personal experience and measurable success working with clients with similar urgency…who shared the same challenges and frustrations in looking for a viable and affordable solution. Your story should build credibility.
This is particularly important since the number one reason customers don’t buy is lack of reassurance. Sellers can enhance their story with details of how their own company was born out of a desire to solve these problems. Specifically, the story should include details of how your contact’s counterparts – that is, people in similar roles with similar responsibilities at your other clients, have felt before and after they bought from you. The better the story demonstrates empathy with the prospect, the better the customers begin to visualize how this seller and his/her offering may really be what they’ve been searching for.
Also, if your contact has to tell others – and win them over – you must teach your contact the story so that they have a way to effectively communicate your story to the influencers that the seller never personally meets.
About Molly D Protosow
Molly Protosow is the COO and Training Strategist for DMTraining. She manages the day-to-day business and training operations while helping research and develop new training programs as well as refreshing signature programs to reflect the newest sales trends, technology, and best practices. Molly utilizes her wide-range of skills to create sales and marketing assets focused on delivering value to DMT’s clients. Molly has a passion for learning and leveraging new knowledge and experiences. Outside of DMTraining, Molly is a hard core Pittsburgh sports fan, enjoys staying active by running and golfing, and unwinds by reading and playing the piano.