Home business articlesMarketing  ecommerce  home based  online internet business  free course
  16 hours of free training in just 5 minutes a day. Teaching you how to grow your online
internet business,
by learning about marketing your home business or ecommerce website with
easy to understand articles.
 
Sign Up Here To Get Free
Business / Marketing Tips
Name:
Email:
  Home              Index Mission Statement Links                  Articles

Sign Up Now

Google
Web .foxonlinelearning.com

 

125x125 Hosting & Servers GoDaddy.com

 

 

A Powerful Tactic For Rapidly Determining a Prospect's Needs

Author: Ian Segail

Here's a question for you...how do you avoid a premature presentation before you've been able to clearly identify a prospect's needs? Three times in the last 10 days I have been asked by different clients to help them with the following dilemma. See if it resonates for you and your sales team.

Let's say that you finally get the appointment. You finally get in to see that prospect you've been hunting down for months. After some friendly chit chat and rapport building it's time to get down to business and you now move into "questioning mode" to determine how you can best help them with the products or services that you offer. Just as you attempt to open up the needs diagnosis, the prospect takes control and says something like... "Well I just wanted to find out about you and what you guys do and what you may be able to offer us?"

What do the majority of salespeople do when faced with a request like that? Well, they fall right into the trap and begin to do their "dog and pony" routine. Talk, talk, talk! And as my one time teacher and mentor Tom Hopkins would say, "If you're talking then you are only learning what you already know, and not learning what you need to know to make the sale!"

Using a tennis analogy, as a salesperson you hit the ball into the prospect's court by asking them a question. They then answer the question, or sometimes they hit it straight back into our court by asking us a question or requesting information. In the previous example, we start asking them questions to determine their needs, and instead of answering us, the prospect says to us, "Well, I just wanted to find out about you and what you guys do and what you may be able to offer us?" Now you have the ball, they have hit it straight back into your court. What is your best strategy for getting the ball back safely and effectively over the net again? Here is a power-house tactic for getting the ball back over the net and keeping it in play, step by step.

Step 1.

Firstly, right now, take out a piece of paper and quickly list, bullet point style, the top 5 problems you solve for your customers - the top 5 reasons why customers choose your organization.

For example, the top 5 reasons why customers choose to work with a Sales Performance Coach are as follows:

Helping clients with:

* Strategies for retaining and growing existing customer revenues

* Strategies for acquiring new customers

* Improving forecast accuracy

* Helping more of the sales team to achieve their sales goals

* Generating more qualified leads

Those are the problems a sales performance coach solves. That having been said, stop right now and write down the top 5 issues that your product/service is designed to solve. (If you don't do this exercise now, then the rest of the tactic will lose its impact for you!!)

What are the top 5 problems that you solve for your customers?

Step 2.

Understand that when you first ask your needs discovery question (hitting the ball over the net initially) in an attempt to uncover your prospects needs, their return volley can only come back in the form of two questions, or requests for information. Firstly, they will either have a specific question in relation to your products and services - most likely a question relating to one or more of the top 5 reasons customers choose your organization, as specified in Step 1. Or secondly, they will toss over a generic opening question like the one above "Can you tell me about your organization and what you guys do and what you may be able to offer us?" anticipating that you will now begin your "sales pitch!" Unfortunately it is this second option request from the customer which happens in the majority of cases.

Step 3.

Where the prospect asks a specific question in relation to your products and services, the job of the salesperson is then to return the ball back over the net with a bounce back question asking something to the effect of, "Tell me more about that" or "Why specifically is that an issue for you?" "What's working, what's not working for you currently in that situation?"

This is the easy option and allows you entry to easily peel back the onion and identify the issues and impact. As pointed out earlier though, unfortunately this situation happens in the minority of occasions. What happens most of the time is when the customer lobs the generic open question of "Tell me about your organization and what you guys do?" that causes most of the difficulty.

So instead of doing the typical salesperson "dog and pony" show, answer the prospect's question with a detailed direct question. Let's say the prospect says something like, "can you tell me more about your organization and what it is that you guys do and maybe what you may be able to offer us?"

My response using the powerful tactic mentioned above will be... "Joan, let me begin by saying that the reasons customers choose to work with us is because we were able to solve one or more of the following problems for them. Firstly, our customers come to us because we are able to help them with effective strategies for not only increasing the loyalty of their existing customers, but we are also able to assist them in growing revenues from their current client base. Secondly, we have helped our clients improve their accuracy when it comes to forecasting. Thirdly, customers choose us because we are able to help them with strategies for acquiring new customers. Joan, the fourth reason we are called in is to help more of our customer's sales team members achieve their sales quotas and then finally we are to help our customers generate more qualified leads.

Now here's the power question that wins the point: Joan, which one of those five reasons would be important to you?

Step 4.

Once the prospect names one or more of the 5 reasons you've just laid out for them, then the job of the salesperson is to easily knock the ball over the net with a bounce back question asking "Tell me more about that" or "Why specifically is that an issue for you?" "What's working, what's not working for you currently?"

This powerful tactic will not only keep the ball in the customer's court allowing your salespeople to keep probing for issues and impacts, but it will stop them from launching into a premature "elevator type pitch" without being able to relate to any specific needs that the prospect may have. If your salespeople are being sidelined by generic questions as to your products and services, then apply the above very influential, directed questioning approach.

About the Author:

As one of Australia's leading authorities and coaches in sales management, Ian Segail has been involved in the coaching, training and development of sales managers and salespeople for over two decades. Drawing on 25 years of experience in sales, sales management and leading an HR and training team, Ian brings a strong dose of fiscal reality and practicality to his works as a Sales Performance Coach. Engaging directly with business owners and both novice and experienced sales managers alike, across a wide variety of industries and selling disciplines, the focus of Ian's work is to transform sales results for companies by improving sales management practices. Ian is the author of "Bulletproof Your Sales Team - The 5 Keys To Turbo-Boosting Your Sales Team's Results" and a number of business articles, business reports and white papers including "The fish stinks from the head!" and "Why Sales Training Doesn't Work." Ian has an insatiable hunger for studying selling and people management and has passionately pursued answers to the question "How come some people can sell and most can't?" Download great sales and performance management resources from

www.salestutor.com.

Article Source: ArticlesBase.com - A Powerful Tactic For Rapidly Determining a Prospect's Needs

Have a nice day!

Google
 
Web www.foxonlinelearning.com
 

 

Home Business Ideas
Blogging / Podcast

Affiliate Marketing

Customer Service
Email Marketing

Entrepreneurialism
Ezines

Google
Linking Strategies

Negotiation

RSS

Security

SE Optmization

SE Tactics

SE Submission

Small Business

Technology

Team Building

Social Networking
Venture Capital

Video Marketing

Web Design

Web Development

Webmasters

Website Promotion

Website Traffic

Site Map


Business Marketing
Tips Index:

 
 

 Ecommerce

 

 Business

   Selling
   Advertising
   Management
   Planning
   Marketing
         
1 2 3 4 5
6 7 8 9 10
11 12 13 14 15
16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25
26 27 28 29 30
31 32 33 34 35
36 37 38 39 40
41 42 43 44 45
46 47 48 49 50
51 52 53 54 55
56 57 58 59 60
61 62 63 64 65
66 67 68 69 70
71 72 73 74 75
76 77 78 79 80
81 82 83 84 85
86 87 88 89 90
91 92 93 94 95
96 97 98 99 100
101 102 103 104 105
106 107 108 109 110
111 112 113 114 115
116 117 118 119 120
121 122 123 124 125
126 127 128 129 130
131 132 133 134 135
136 137 138 139 140
141 142 143 144 145
146 147 148 149 150
151 152 153 154 155
156 157 158 159 160
161 162 163 164 165
166 167 168 169 170
171 172 173 174 175
176 177 178 179 180
181 182 183 184 185
186 187 188 189 190
191 192 193 194 195
196 197 198 199 200
         
         

 

 

Home & Index
Mission Statement
Links

Sign Up Now!
to get Free
Busines & Marketing Tips

Unlimited 

Autoresponders by AWeber


         
    Free Articles - Home Business. Ecommerce, Marketing covers USA, New York, Seattle, Philadelphia, Washington DC , Chicago, Baltimore , Atlanta, Dallas , San Francisco, Canada, England, Ireland , and India    
Previous Article   2009 Foxonlinelearning.com   Next Article