Recently, much to my delight, I’ve been in front of potential customers more often. Over the years I feel as if I’ve developed good sales instincts. Successful entrepreneurs are instinctive salesmen. Nonetheless, I wanted to review some basic principles of conceptual selling. Let’s do it together.
First, no one buys a product or service. The customer buys what they think the product or service will do for them. There are two tasks to conceptual selling
- Understand the customer’s concept first, of what he or she wants to accomplish
- Connect your product/service to that concept
The benefits of focusing on the customer’s concept first are:
- Allows you to learn more about your customer
- Enables you to focus on results
- You’re unlikely to be pigeonholed with the competition
- Minimizes the importance of price competition
- Positions yourself with the person who makes the final decision
- Enables you to spot early those situations that are not Win-Win
There are three phases of a sales call.
The first phase is Getting Information:
- Effective selling begins with the ability to ask good questions – why?
- Qualifies the prospect early
- Helps you understand the current situation
- Builds rapport
- Helps you determine the customer’s decision-making process
- Enables you to identify differences between your service and your competitors’
- Reinforces your own credibility
- Motivates and sustains your customer’s interest
The second phase is Giving information:
- Relate information about your service to his or her concept
- Relate information about your service that differentiates your offer from the competition
- Differentiation only works by pointing out Unique Strengths
The third phase is Getting commitment:
- Get some kind of commitment from the client after every sales call
- Get a higher degree of commitment as the sale moves forward
- Whenever customers refuse Commitment, it’s because they feel they’re going to lose with you or your solution — there remains a Basic Issue
Why do salespeople talk so much?
- They feel more comfortable being in control
- They feel it’s their job to tell the prospect about their service
- Talking is what the customer wants the salesperson to do
- Talking takes less planning
- Sometimes answers to questions are hard to swallow
In the end, it must be a Win-Win scenario.
- Don’t oversell on expectations
- Don’t get suckered into a giveaway
- Hear the customer out
- When in doubt find out
- Be willing to walk
- Always give information in context of the customer’s concept
So, we’ve reviewed that to be effective on sales calls, you must be able to listen and understand what the customer is trying to accomplish. Then, explain how your solution fits into making that possible. Simple, right?