FAQs: A Not So Secret Weapon for Sales
Far too often, FAQs are taken for granted, by both the writer and the reader. A well-crafted set of them can be a “force multiplier” to drive a B2B sale.
A sales force that either ignores or discounts their importance does so at its own peril.
Since we all live and do business in an information-driven world, a set of FAQs should be viewed as a valuable tactical element that supports the strategy for pursuing any and every piece of business.
Here are 4 key points to help amp up the value and power of your FAQs:
FAQs should anticipate the most significant concerns of a potential buyer.
Whether it’s B2B or B2C, FAQs serve basically the same purpose—anticipating the points that would prevent or slow down a buyer from saying “yes” and addressing those concerns as clearly and concisely as possible.
In the B2B space, sellers should carefully craft the questions and answers based on what’s commonly being voiced by a range of potential buyers.
There’s always at a least a kernel of truth in a consensus of buyers’ opinions.
So addressing those concerns in the FAQs will project a seamless fit with all that the seller has been presented to the buyer beforehand.
FAQs should always reinforce the original value proposition.
While FAQs often address more technical aspects of a given product or service, they should also be consistent with what was promised in the first place.
Never underestimate the power of repetition.
In many ways, FAQs are nothing more than a repackage of the original pitch to the buyer, but in a more “objective” fashion.
There’s no need to engage in hyperbole or make unsubstantiated claims in the FAQs. To the contrary, going there undermines providing them in the first place.
FAQs should offer clear and concise answers.
Strive for answers that “short and sweet” by using declarative sentences with no modifying clauses.
FAQs are not the “fine print.”
They are clarifying agents that should get rid of any lingering doubts about a proposed product or service.
While a given question may be somewhat lengthy, the answer can be as short as one word. Letting the question do the talking sets up a really strong and compelling answer.
FAQs should be designed to close down discussion and not start new ones.
When putting these together, always think “closure.”
Raising an entirely new aspect of the deal or feature/benefit of the product or service should definitely be avoided at this point. If it was that important, then why not present it much earlier in the selling process?
Any item or issue that can be perceived as “changing horses” at this point is simply a non-starter.
This is why it’s critical to assemble the FAQs at the very same time that you’re doing the intro letter, the actual pitch, and any other supporting materials. Make sure that everything you’re sharing is thoroughly consistent and supportive.
Remember that FAQs do the talking when the salesperson isn’t there.
It’s likely that these FAQs may be circulated and analyzed more frequently than the actual pitch itself. It’s a concise document that makes the case, and doesn’t take a lot of time to read and absorb.
FAQs can be powerful in driving a sale, but only if as a seller you put them to work for you.
About the Author
Buff Parham is a widely recognized thought leader and outstanding coach in the media sales and sales management field. With 35 years of sales experience, Buff has worked at Univision, FOX, Belo, ABC and CBS. He believes that hard work matters and that raising the bar and having greater expectations tend to generate greater results. In his spare time, Buff finds cooking and playing golf to be two of the best therapies for a somewhat hectic existence!
Check out Buff’s Blog www.BuffParham.com
About Steve Bookbinder
Steve Bookbinder is the CEO and sales expert at DMTraining. He has delivered more than 5,000 workshops and speeches to clients all over the world and has trained, coached, and managed more than 50,000 salespeople and managers. Steve continuously refreshes his training content to reflect his latest first-hand observations of salespeople across industries and regions. Through him, participants in his workshops and coaching sessions learn the best practices of today’s most successful sellers and managers across industries. Steve understands that sales is a competitive game. To outperform competitors and our own personal best results, we need to out-prospect, out-qualify, out-present and out-negotiate everyone else, not merely know how to sell. Through his specialty programs in Pipeline Management, Personal Marketing, Great First Meetings, 2nd-level Questioning, Sales Negotiating, and Sales Coaching, Steve trains sales teams to master the skills they need to overcome the challenges they face in today’s world… and keep improving results year over year.