If you are involved in prospecting then you will already know the challenges of persuading a prospect to give you the business. Ultimately there is a four-step process involved in buying that all of us follow;
1. We have to feel motivated to make a purchase, irrespective of its type or size.
2. At some point after we've become motivated to want to buy, we make a decision to buy.
3. Then, after we have made a decision, we want to feel convinced that our decision is the right one, and at this stage we may seek approval and input from other people.
Then we'll make our purchase.
4. Finally, after making our purchase we seek reassurance.
Interestingly, if sales people haven't nurtured newly acquired customers, this can result in 'Buyers Remorse' and the customer may get 'cold feet' and cancel their order.
Every step of this process requires careful handling, yet if the salesperson lacks the ability to motivate their prospect to talk to them, let alone buy from them, the other steps become redundant.
People are fundamentally motivated in two main ways:
1. What problem or pain they can avoid and move away from
2. What pleasure or benefit they can move towards
Imagine your alarm going off in the morning and you realise that you have to get out of bed. It's just too warm and comfortable where you are, so you give yourself another five minutes. Then, after this time, you decide to lie in for another few minutes until you suddenly get a picture in your mind of your angry boss! The consequences of being late for your meeting with him, scares you into jumping out of bed.
Alternatively, imagine your alarm going off on the morning of your holiday. The prospect of sun, sea, and Sangria fills you with excitement as you jump out of bed to start your two week vacation.
If a prospect feels content with their current supplier or their current situation, then it will be a huge challenge to motivate them to want to buy your product or service. That's why every pain your prospect feels is an opportunity for you. Your task, during the initial fact-finding stage, is to uncover their 'pain' and help them to dwell on their problems.
The stronger the pain or the bigger their problem, the greater their motivation will be to move away from it. If you can convince prospects that your organisation can reduce one or more of their 'pains', then you will have suddenly discovered a powerful way to unleash their motivation to buy from you.
Here are some examples of questions that probe for pain:
"What areas of your current situation don't you like?"
"What is this costing your organisation each year?"
"How do you feel about (problem)?"
"Who else is aware of these issues?"
"How do they feel about it?"
"Why haven't you tackled this before?"
"How do your issues compare to those in similar organisations?"
"Which of these problems is causing you the most concern?"
"What have you done in the past that's not worked?"
"When did you begin noticing this issue?"
"Why is this such an issue for you?"
"When will you decide to resolve this?"
When probing for pain, it's more effective to start with general questions to build rapport, encourage discussion and plenty of input from the prospect.
As you begin using questions that probe for pain you'll notice shifts in their body language that can provide you with important feedback that your questions are hitting the mark. Ideally, encourage the prospect to define the consequences of their problem, this magnifies the problem in their minds eye and consequently builds their motivation to want to get it solved.
Finally, you need to gain their commitment to resolving their problem by asking, "How committed are you to resolving this issue?"
Today's News: I have spent most of this week editing the latest Top Sales Experts ebook, and it has certainly been a labour of love! All being well, it should be launched next week, but I'll let you know. Understanding my frustration, the genius that is our graphics guy, Bill Jeckells, produced this:
Tomorrow: We launch: JF Uncut, a new initiative every Saturday and Sunday - it's my take on what's going wrong in the world. Be sure to join me - if you dare!
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