Gitomer: The questions that matter most
Friday, April 04, 2014 7:00 AM
When you’re giving your sales presentation, do you really know what the customers are thinking or what they’re asking themselves as you’re presenting?
I doubt it. You’re too busy trying to sell.
Shake the hand. Smile the smile. Show the slides. Talk the talk. Do the demo. Ask the superficial questions. Try the close. Try to overcome “the price is too high.” Propose the proposal. Do the sales dance.
Meanwhile the customers are thinking. They are asking themselves questions about the validity of your product and your offer. They’re thinking about how your stuff might fit into their company. And while you’re talking, they may be Googling.
All customers, not just the decision makers, have a buying process. It’s a strategy and a process by which they make a purchase. And that purchase is based on the trust, safety and comfort your customers feel when buying something from you.
In order to gain that trust, and that feeling of safety, they asked themselves a bunch of questions without ever saying a word. You answer those questions by the words you speak. Your job as a master salesperson is to answer those silent questions in a manner that drives the customer to say, “I’ll take it!”
The following list of questions is exactly what goes through the mind of prospective customers during your presentation. The list is long, and all customer may not ask themselves every one of these questions, but since you don’t know specifically which ones they are going to ask themselves, you better be prepared with answers to all of them.
Here are the questions the prospective customers are asking:
• What do you offer that no one else has?
• What do you offer of value?
• Does it really fill my need?
• Can you deliver?
• Is it real-world?
• Will it work in our environment?
• How will it impact our people?
• How could it impact our success?
• Will senior or executive management buy in?
• Will my people use it?
• How will we profit as a result?
• What’s the risk factor in buying?
• Will you and your company keep your promises?
• Will you be my main contact after purchase or are you going to relegate me to “the service department”?
• Do I have confidence in you?
• Do I have the trust and comfort to buy now?
HOLY COW! All that?
YES! All that and more!
The customers are seeking validation and want to believe you. They need what you have and they’re going to buy what you offer. The only question is: From whom? Depending on the answers to the above questions, they may not buy from you. OUCH!
Here are a few more thought-provoking challenges to help you understand the buying process:
1. The first sale that’s made is the salesperson. If the prospect doesn’t buy you, he or she is not going to buy your product or service.
2. How’s your online reputation? What’s your Google ranking and reputation? NOT YOUR COMPANY. YOU!
3. What’s your social media reputation? Not tweeting is a choice, but a poor one. How about LinkedIn? Do you have a business Facebook page?
4. Did you offer proof? Did you use “voice-of-customer” as testimonial proof to your claims?
4.5. Does the buyer have enough peace of mind to purchase?
I have just given you a mind full of sales information, from the mind of the only person that matters in your sales conversations: the customer.
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