Mar 7, 2016

EASY STEPS TO WIN YOUR CUSTOMER'S TRUST AND CONFIDENC



VALID STEPS TO BE TAKEN BY SALESPEOPLE


CONTROL YOUR ATTITUDE:

control your attitude by not judging the day by the weather.

Control your attitude by greeting people properly.

Control your attitude by establishing symbols.

90% of the way you feel is determined by deciding how you want and expect.

85% of the people will respond with”Good Morning” when you say good morning.

Take care of your health.

Get enough sleep.

Have a good diet and exercise programs.

Avoid poisons.

You can have everything you want; if you help enough others get what they want.

Immediate follow up: have participants decide upon a greeting they will use with people over the next month. Have them a record the no. of people who do and don’t respond positively and report the results at the next meeting.

One week follow up: during your next meeting review the percentages of positive responses from each person. Then ask each person to write a daily plan for eating exercise, sleep, and poison avoidance. Ask them to report their results in the next meeting.

One month follow up that everyone share progress of their health plan and suggest ideas that may help others. Divide your group into teams; ask them to devise a support system to help one another achieve health goals.

(This exercise can be done among the sales people of the company)

Part of a manager’s job is to delegate responsibility to employees.

Delegation: to entrust responsibility, grant authority and create accountability for results. There are several steps to progress through when delegating responsibility.

Sell them on what is in it for them. People want to see themselves winning and feeling good about the results they achieve.

Delegate the results to be achieved: keep people thinking about the results, not the tasks.

Have people bring you a plan of action: people often have better ideas about their work than management does. Also, an employee will want to implement his own plan.

Never tell anyone something you can ask: ask people questions about their plans in a manner which will help them determine if it is viable. Let them come up with own answer.

Implement the plan, but first the person to whom you have delegated how he can measure the progress.

Follow up and control the plan by asking the responsible person for the pre determined specific desired results.

Most people give more than they seek when they try to persuade.

It’s sad, but true. Giving ideas, opinions or arguments is the most common ways in which people try to persuade each other. Giving is so much easier than seeking; consequently we get into the habit of persuading that way.

Unfortunately it does not work too well. Of course, that could turn out to be good news for you. If you can build a selling style based on seeking, than it puts you ahead of the field.

Effective sellers focus mainly on the customers and their needs.

This is not very surprising, since sellers who do this are seen as more empathetic and interested. What is perhaps more surprising is how many sellers focus on their products and their features. Customer- focused sellers are better able to find ways in which their product can provide unique benefits by understanding the requirements and priorities of the customer.

Preliminaries: The investigating stage of a sales call has more influence on your success than any other part of the call.

Investigating: Unless this stage is done well, the other stages, if they take place at all, will have low impact and be unlikely to lead to a sale.

Demonstration capability: the key purpose of investigating is to uncover the customers implied needs and to develop them into explicit needs.

Obtaining commitment: Investigating is done through questions, and your ability to uncover and develop needs by your questions will determine how effective you will be in your selling.

The best way to develop selling skill is through practice with objective feedback.

In the same way as a sport or a craft, selling is a skill that improves with practice, but only when that practice is informed by some objective feedback ideally based on accurate measurement that tells us what is working well, and where we may be going wrong.

Key points:

most people use too much giving and too little seeking in their persuasion.
Seeking (or asking questions) is more powerful than giving.
Customers are more interested in whether a product meets their needs than in all of the features.
The best sellers talk about their products features only when they understand the needs.
Questions are powerful, but they have to be good questions.
Seeking is particularly important at the investigation stage of the sales call.
Experience alone can lead to false conclusions about the causes of success: only with accurate feedback can skills be effectively developed.

INVESTIGATING A CUSTOMER'S NEEDS IS AN IMPORTANT PART OF MOST SALES CALLS.
A very important part indeed. More sales are lost through doing a poor job at this stage of the call than for any other single reason. It’s the stage which is hardest to learn and which requires most practice. The biggest difference found between successful and unsuccessful calls was in the area of investigating. The successful calls did a much better job of investigating customer’s needs.

Investigating is at the heart of the sales call. If you can learn to do it well, then you have mastered the most important and most difficult skill of selling. That’s why this practice spends more time on developing investigating skills than on any other area of the call.

THE KEY REASON FOR ASKING QUESTIONS DURING A SALES CALL IS TO UNCOVER AND DEVELOP CUSTOMER NEEDS.

The purpose of the investigating stage of a sales call is to uncover and develop customer needs. It’s through making needs clear and strong that the customer becomes ready to buy. As we saw, a weak need means that the customer will not be very impressed when you try to demonstrate capability or to obtain a commitment. A strong need means that the customer is interested in your solution and wants to hear about what you have got to offer.

So how do you uncover customer needs and develop them so that they become strong?

Here is where questions come in. Needs are developed by the questions you ask, and that’s why questions are so vitally important to the success of a call. If you do not ask questions, you can’t do a good job of uncovering and developing needs. And if the customer does not feel a strong need, then your solution will have a low impact and you may lose the sale.

EFFECTIVE SELLERS DISTINGUISH IMPLIED NEEDS FROM EXPLICIT NEEDS AND TREAT THEM DIFFERENTLY.

This is the single most important characteristic of effective selling. Some researchers revealed that sellers who were consistently successful had the ability, possibly an intuitive ability, to recognize the difference. They also had the skills to develop the implied needs, convert them into explicit needs, and to develop those.

NEED:

A solution here, while the customer’s needs are still small, has little impact. If you can develop a strong need, then your solution will have more impact on the customer. A customer’s need usually begin in the form of problems, difficulties, or dissatisfactions. We call these implied needs. When needs have developed into wants or desires we call them explicit needs.

KEY POINTS

Just because a customer states problems, it does not automatically follow that he or she wants a solution.

The stronger the customer’s needs, the more likely it is that the sale will be successful.

Strong needs, stated in the form of want or desires by the customer, are called explicit needs.

Customer needs don’t usually start as explicit; they normally begin in the form of problems, difficulties or dissatisfactions which we call implied needs.

The most important and one of the most difficult, of all selling skills is using questions to uncover implied needs, which may be weak or vague, and developing them into strong clear explicit needs.

THE SIGN THAT YOU HAVE OPENED A CALL CORRECTLY IS THAT THE CUSTOMER KNOWS WHO YOU ARE, KNOWS WHY YOU ARE THERE, AND AGREES THAT YOU SHOULD ASK QUESTIONS.

Exactly – any opening needs to ensure that these 3 things happen.

THE CUSTOMER MUST:

Know who you are and what company you represent. Of course, with customers you have met before this is achieved almost automatically. But if the customer does not know who you are, the meetings hardly likely to get off the ground. So do not assume, for example, that the customer’s secretary has explained everything. Make absolutely certain of it by offering your name and preferably your business card.

Know why you are there. If the customer calls you and asks for a meeting, obviously you o not have to explain why you are there. But when you have initiated the call, you should briefly explain the purpose of the meeting. Be careful not to get into details of your product during the opening; just give enough to interest the customer and allow you to continue the call.

Agree that you should ask questions. This is the real test of whether you have opened successfully. Your main objective in opening the call is to get the customer’s approval for you to begin your selling questions. If your customer begins the interview by inviting you to ask questions, then the opening phase of the call is already over and you have moved into investigating phase.

THE TIME SPENT ON PRELIMINARIES AND THE WAY IN WHICH THIS IS DONE DEPENDS UPON THE CULTURE IN WHICH YOU ARE WORKING.
Absolutely!

Some cultures spend a great deal of time getting to know each other before getting down to business, so it’s wise to know the rules before hand, to avoid any embarrassment.

It’s important to establish whether you may take notes.

In a large scale sale, customers will give a lot of information about their business and their needs, and it’s vital that you to retain it accurately. So, if you are making notes, it’s simple politeness to ask permission. We have never heard of a customer refusing yet.

KEY POINTS

When you open a call, you are trying to achieve 3 main things; you want a customer to:

Know who you are;

Know why you are there;

Agree to answer questions.


Since note taking can be so valuable in a call, it’s also a good idea to gain the customer’s permission to take notes.

In general, the faster you can get through opening the better. So that you can proceed to the investigating phase of the call. Remember, two that you are more likely to find your customer in a receptive mood if you make an appointment.

There is no single ideal way to open a call. Be flexible; adopt yourself to the pace and style of the customer, but do not get drawn into a detailed description of your product or service

A KEY DIFFERENCE BETWEEN SELLERS WHO ARE CONSISTENTLY SUCCESSFUL AND THEIR AVERAGE PEERS IS THAT THEY ASK MORE QUESTIONS ABOUT THEIR CUSTOMER'S NEEDS.
Without customer needs, there can’t be a sale, so of course questions that uncover needs are crucial. Some successful sellers were found to be asking more than twice as many needs- focused questions as their averagely successful counterparts.

PROBLEM QUESTIONS ARE MORE POWERFUL THAN SITUATIONAL QUESTIONS.
It is true. But why? What have they got which situation questions haven’t?

The key lies in the different effect which they have on the customer. Situation questions have low impact but problem questions are more powerful because they:

GAIN ATTENTION

In the selling, like every other area of life, people are very interested in their own problems. So, by switching your customer’s attention away from background details towards problems, difficulties and dissatisfactions, you are likely to increase the customer’s level of interest.

ESTABLISH RELEVANCE

Think about your products. Are they not designed specifically to solve customer’s problems? Why else would they exists? So use problems questions to steer the interview into discussion of the difficulties which your product is designed to solve. In that way the conversation has maximum value both for you and for the customer.

GIVE CREDIBILITY

Sellers who ask pertinent questions about problems are often rated by customers as having greater business credibility than those who only ask about situation details. Why should this be? Probably because the questions themselves require, or are felt to require, knowledge or awareness of the customer’s world.

So, despite the fact that problems questions are harder to ask than situation questions, they have a much more powerful effect on the customer. Consequently, it’s well worth the effort of planning and using problem questions to make your calls more effective.

KEY POINTS

The quality and relevance of your questioning is more important than whether you choose an open or a closed question.

Situation questions are used to check backgrounds facts to warm up the call, and to give you a foundation for your problem questions. Make sure that everyone you use has a clear purpose ad leads you towards potential problems areas.

Problem questions are more powerful than situational questions, because they relate to issues of interest to the customer rather than to you. So plan them and ask them in every call.

Qualifying is just as much about establishing whether there is a need for your type of solution, as whether the customer meets certain company criteria.

THE PURPOSE OF IMPLICATION QUESTIONS COME IS TO EXTEND AND DEVELOP A CUSTOMER'S PERCEPTION OF THE CONSEQUENCES AND EFFECTS OF PROBLEMS.
This is where implication questions come into their own. The key fact to remember is that when you offer solutions, the customer’s needs stops growing.

So you must find a way to develop the customer’s perception of the size and significance of a problem before you start discussing your answers. Obviously, the best way to do this through your questions.

Implication questions are the effective way to help a customer understand the full consequences and effects of problems. By asking these questions, you make the customer think about the full extent and business impact of problems which, until your questions, may have seemed unimportant.

THE PURPOSE OF PROBLEM-CENTERED QUESTIONS IS TO IDENTIFY, CLARIFY AND EXTEND IMPLIED NEEDS.
In order to begin the sales process, we have to help the customer see that the seriousness’s of the problem does outweigh the cost of changing.

To achieve this we need to help the customer by:

Identifying that a difficulty exists- using problem questions.

Clarifying the nature and the extent of the problem-through-follow-up Problems questions, which seeks to quantify the problem or explore why it’s occurred.

Extending the perception of seriousness- using implication questions to link to other potential problems.

IMPLICATIONS QUESTIONS ARE MUCH HARDER TO ASK THAN EITHER SITUATION OR PROBLEM QUESTIONS.
To ask a good implication questions you need:

Planning. They don’t come automatically. Even the very top sales people have to think about their implication questions in advance of the call.

Business knowledge. You have got to have an understanding of why a particular problem might be important to the customer and what business factors might cause it to be more significant than the customer realizes.

Application Knowledge. You must know what kind of problem your products or services are designed to solve, so that you can pick out the most appropriate implied needs to develop.

KEY POINTS

Identifying, clarifying and extending customer problems are the basic building blocks of a sale. In this context implication questions are the most powerful type of questions that you can ask.

There are two reasons why they are so effective:

They allow you to develop the customer’s need so that your solution has maximum impact.

They build up your credibility by demonstrating your concern for the effects of problems and your understanding of business issues affecting the customer.

Most sellers, even very experienced ones ask too few implication questions. Some never ask any at all.

Again, there are two reasons for this:

Sales people jump in too early with solutions;

Implication questions are difficult to ask; they require knowledge of products and applications/assemblies and they require quick thinking plus careful planning.

So when you uncover an implied need, hold back- develop it before you offer your solutions.

THE PURPOSE OF NEED- PAY OFF QUESTIONS IS TO MOVE THE CUSTOMER'S ATTENTION AWAY FROM PROBLEMS AND TO FOCUS IT ON SOLUTIONS AND THEIR VALUE.
That’s right. When the customer’s mind is still on the problem, it may not be the best time for you to talk about what your product can offer. The customer may not be ready.

How do you swing your customer’s attention away from the problem and towards the solution?

We know that seeking is more powerful than giving. So if you get the customer thinking about solutions by the questions you ask, then that’s liable to be more effective than just telling the customer what you can offer.

What sort of questions helps you to do this?

Questions like: “Would it help you if you could…?”

“Why would that be useful?”

“Is there any other way it would benefit you if you are able to…?”

Questions, in other words, which ask about the value or usefulness of a solution.

We call these need- payoff questions.

When you ask a need-payoff questions such as “why would it be so useful for you to speed up turnaround time?” you invite customer to:

Switch attention from the problem to solution;

Think about how the solution could help;

Describe to you the ways in which your product could be of benefit.

No wonder the Need-payoff questions are so powerful in selling.

They get the customer telling you about the benefits that you offer.

NEED-PAYOFF QUESTIONS SHOULD NOT BE ASKED UNTIL AFTER THE CUSTOMER'S PROBLEMS HAVE BEEN IDENTIFIED AND DEVELOPED.
One of the most common faults in selling is to ask Need-payoff questions too early in the call. Questions like “Would not a faster system be useful?”, or “In an operation like yours, wouldn’t it pay you to ensure greater security?”

The danger with Need-payoff questions like these, asked early in the call, is that the customer says “yes” without feeling any real interest or commitment. Even worse, when you ask Ned-payoff questions at the start of the call, the customer focuses on the solutions which you are offering.

KEY POINTS

A customer who admits to a major problem is not necessarily ready to accept, or even discuss, your solution.

Before offering solutions you must first shift the customer’s attention away from the problem and towards the value of solving it.

The most acceptable and effective way of doing this is, of course through questions- Need-payoff questions.

Just as you use problem and implication questions to thoroughly investigate the customer’s implied needs, you can use Need-payoff questions to make the most of explicit needs through:

Identifying whether Explicit needs exists.

Clarifying the way in which the solution will help and how much it is worth.

Extending the payoff into other areas.

Need-payoff questions are effective because they make the customer tell you what the benefits are.

Lastly, beware of using them too early- remember that needs stop growing once a solution has been offered.

BENEFITS ARE THE MOST POWERFUL WAY YOU CAN DESCRIBE YOUR PRODUCTS TO CUSTOMERS.

Absolutely, one of the reasons why benefits are so powerful is that before you can make a benefit you must have obtained an Explicit needs from the customer.

And in order to get explicit need, you are likely to have used implication and Need-payoff questions to develop an implied need. So to make benefits you have normally used spin questions to do a thorough job of developing the customer need.

Normally, but not always, occasionally the customer makes it easy by offering you Explicit Needs without any work on your part. That’s nice when it happens, but you can’t rely on customers to do work for you.

The key to success in selling is the ability to:

Uncover the implied needs, using situation and problem questions;

Develop them in to Explicit Needs using implication and Need-payoff questions;

Satisfy these explicit Needs with benefits.

The whole selling sequence leads up to benefits – the most powerful and successful of all sales behaviors.

KEY POINTS

Features: features are characteristics of your product or service. They are neutral and not very persuasive. Because of their low impact on customers, its best to restrict thee no of features you describe during calls.

Advantages: advantages show how your product or service can be used or can help the customers. Most advantages can be rephrased in the form, “because of… you can… advantages are more persuasive than features. They can have a high impact early in the selling cycle. However they have less and less impact on the customer as the sale progresses, so they should be used with caution.

Benefits: benefits are the most powerful of all sales behavior. They show how the product or service meets an explicit need which the customer has expressed. Benefits can only be made after an explicit need as been expressed. It’s not a benefit if you answer a need you assume the customer has. It’s not a benefit jump in with a solution when the customer offers an implied need. Many sales are lost through offering solutions before explicit needs have been developed. Benefits are the final steps in the needs development process, which consist of:

Uncovering implied needs with situation and problem questions.

Developing them into explicit needs using implication and need- pay off questions.

Satisfying the explicit needs with benefits.


CLOSING TECHNIQUES WORK BEST WHEN YOU ARE SELLING CHEAP GOODS, OR TRYING TO GET A VERY SMALL COMMITMENT FROM THE CUSTOMER.
This is true. When sales people were selling cheap goods their sales increased by 4-6%. But when they used same closing methods with high cost goods, sales fell by over 21-24%. So it seems that closing techniques become less effective as the price increases. Why? Look at your own experience. How do you react when someone is putting pressure on you to make decision?

For most of us, if a decision is a small one- such as whether to have another cup of tea, or which movie to go to- then, if someone else puts pressure on us, we give in. it’s the same with purchasing decision; if a seller pushes you to buy something cheap, like a pencil or pen, it’s often easier to buy than to face the hassle of registering.

Not so with large decisions. The bigger the decision, the more people react negatively to pressure. And that’s what closing techniques are- a form of pressure. If, for e.g., you are thinking of something really big like taking new job, and the person who offers a job to you tries to close you into excepting it before you feel ready, chances are that you will turn the job down.

So, if you are asking the customer for really big commitment, then you should be cautious about the use of closing techniques. On the other hand, closing techniques can be very helpful in getting small commitments from a customer- such as an agreement to have a meeting with you.

THAT'S HOW THE EXPERTS DO IT AND MAKE IT SOUND VERY SIMPLE AND NATURAL

The secret of their success is not so much in closing- it’s in the events which lead up to the close.

By their use of situation and problem questions, successful sales people uncover difficulties and dissatisfactions where products can help the customer.

Next they develop these implied needs- the raw materials of a sales call- using implication questions to make the problems more important to the customer, and need- pay off questions to focus customer interest on solutions and their value.

Finally, they use benefits to show how the solutions they can offer meet the explicit needs of customers.

In this way, customers want to buy, so, after checking that they have covered the customers concerns, successful salespeople simply summarize the benefits and propose an appropriate level of commitment from the customer.

But that doesn’t mean that successful sales people never use closing techniques. They do and many of them believe that these techniques help their selling.

However, they never let closing techniques become a substitute for good needs development- and neither should you.

If you become impatient to close, and allow your selling to get careless, then you won’t do a thorough job of making the customer want your product.

And without that customer need, no closing technique will succeed.

KEY POINTS

In major sales, increasing the number of closes per call will reduce your success rates, not increase it.

Closing techniques can help you to gain a small commitment like an appointment.

Even in major sales, you have to ask for commitments but do it directly and only after having built the value of your solution.

It’s more important to know what commitment to ask for than two dozen ways of doing it. Successful sellers ask for the highest realistic commitment in every call.

A SUCCESSFUL AND STRAIGHTFORWARD APPROACH INVOLVES:

Checking that you have covered all the customers’ key concerns;

Summarizing the benefits;

Proposing an appropriate commitment.

In major sales call outcomes are seldom just sales or no sales; more often they lie in between, as advances or continuations. The key difference is that advances require an undertaking from the customer to take an action which will further the sale.

Many sellers rate continuations as advances, thus assuming greater progress than they have actually made. It is important to plan for and to seek a genuine advice in every call.

IT'S VERY IMPORTANT TO REMEMBER THAT…

“The great salespeople go for substantial closes and high potential development accounts. And they know that the selling process is the same regardless of the size of the sale...
They make more quality sales calls than their colleagues. (See the sales call). They may not make more sales calls, but they make more quality sales calls. It is rare that the great salespersons make a call on someone who is not qualified decision maker.
They have a pre-planned written sales objective for every sales call.
They have pre-planned written questions prepared for every sales call.”


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