Jun 5, 2016

EFFECTIVE SELLING-KEY POINTS


Most common problems with sales people (even experienced sales people) is how to close the sale at the end of a call? They are not asking for the order. They just change the the topic they were discussing and moreover they switch over to some other application instead asking commitment. Why this is happening and how to ask order?

They fails to identify the needs of the customer or they are providing solutions to the customer's needs immediately after identifying their problems. Is this correct? Why salespeople have too many complications while sitting with customer even after well planning and proper practice?I have few key points on effective selling key points below to close the sales call with order or commitment without much pressure or complications so as to get the order for your product easily. The only thing is that you must watch and judge each and every word of customer very patiently and practically involving in his needs during sales call.

IN THE INVESTIGATING PHASE, THE MAIN PURPOSE IS TO QUALIFY CUSTOMERS IN OR OUT.

This is false; it is certainly true that qualifying customer is an important part of the early investigation a seller must do. However, many of the questions used to do this can send a signal that you are not interested in them, only in finding out whether they are worth talking to further. By asking questions that uncover needs, you show empathy and interest in your customers in such a way that can help build a relationship strong enough to allow qualifying questions to be asked without risk of causing offence.

THE MORE SITUATION QUESTION YOU ASK, THE MORE LIKELY THE CUSTOMER IS TO BUY.

This is wrong; if you could make a customer buy through asking lots of situation questions, then selling would be a delightfully simple profession. Unfortunately, by asking more situation questions, you make the call less likely to succeed. Why should that be? Ask yourself, who gains more from situation questions, you or the customer? Almost always it is the seller who gains more from situation questions. They provide useful information about the customer and the business which enables you to decide which problem areas to explore. But what is in it for the buyer? Very little. Most buyers get bored with answering questions about background facts and data. They have probably gone over exactly the same ground with other sales people and feel they are doing you a favor by telling you the details of their operation. But, if situation questions don’t help you sell, why do most sales people ask so many of them? Probably it’s because:

They are easy to ask. If you cannot think of anything else, it’s simple to fall back on more situation questions.

They are safe. You may bore your customers but you don’t usually upset them by asking situation questions. Problem questions, on the other hand, although much more powerful, can upset the customer if badly asked.

They require no planning. You have got to plan problem questions in order to ask them well. Situation questions, on the other hand, are easier to ask off-the-cuff.

IT’S BETTER TO ASK OPEN QUESTION THAN CLOSED QUESTIONS.

This is false. Although nearly every book on selling has mentioned the difference between open and closed questions since long back by experts, a surprising result of the expert’s studies was that there was no relationship between the use of open questions and success. Calls high on closed questions seemed to have just as good a chance of success. It seems that sellers need both, but more important than the ratio of open to closed is their focus-the way in which they are used to understand and develop customer needs.

FOR THE PURPOSE OF QUALIFYING, YOU ONLY NEED TO ASK SITUATION QUESTIONS.

This is not true: since implied needs are the first building blocks on the way to the sale, it is also useful to ask problem questions, since these uncover implied needs. After all, those customers who are perfectly happy with the present situation have effectively qualified themselves out.

KEY POINTS

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

Situation questions are used to check background 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 and leads you towards potential problem areas.

Problem questions are more powerful than situation 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.

SITUATION QUESTIONS HAVE MORE IMPACT ON THE CUSTOMER THAN IMPLICATION QUESTIONS.

This is not true: if we measure impact by whether or not the call is successful then implication questions have a very high impact on the customer. The more implication questions you ask, the more likely the customer is to buy. It’s the other way around with situation questions. Most people ask too many. Because situation questions don’t do much for the customer, the more you ask the more likely he/she is to become bored. Implication questions make the customer think. In fact, mot questions are very impressed by sales people who ask a lot of implication questions and they will almost always rate the sales call favorably. One way to gain credibility with buyers is to ask implication questions. By exploring the implications of customer’s problems, you demonstrate:

Concern with the effect which problems are having on the customer;

Understanding of business issues and their consequences.

WHEN THE CUSTOMER STATES A PROBLEM, AND IT’S ONE WHICH YOU CAN SOLVE, YOU SHOULD IMMEDIATELY OFFER YOUR SOLUTIONS.

This is not true: no, never! But isn’t it tempting? The customers offers you a nice juicy problem; one where you have got the ideal solution. So what do you do? If you are like most people, you want joyfully thrust you solution down the customer’s throat as hard and as fast as you can. Or, a kinder way to put it, you are so anxious to help that can’t wait to offer your solution. And what is wrong with that? After all, it’s exactly what many experienced sales people do. Watch out! Giving the solution too soon will often loose you the sale; read about why in the effective selling. The sales people offer solutions relatively late in the call, waiting until they have fully developed the customer’s needs. They know that the impact of the solution depends on the size of the need. For this reason, you should not offer your solutions too early. The most powerful way to sell is to use implied needs before discussing any solutions.

THE BEST TIME TO ASK IMPLICATIONS QUESTIONS IS EARLY IN THE CALL, BEFORE YOU HAVE UNCOVERED PROBLEMS.

This is false; no way how could you do that? By their nature, implications questions come after a problem has been uncovered. Because their purpose is to develop problems so that the customer perceives them to be more significant, implications questions would not normally be asked very early in the call.

The normal sequence of questioning would be:

Situation questions first (but not too many of them) to establish key facts about the customer.

Problem questions next to uncover the customer have implied needs. Some further follow up problem questions may be required to clarify the problems.

IMPLICATIONS QUESTIONS TO DEVELOP AND EXTEND THE CUSTOMER HAVE IMPLIED NEEDS. A CUSTOMER WHO RECOGNISES THAT A PROBLEM IS LARGE WILL ALWAYS BE READY TO ACCEPT SOLUTIONS.

This is not true.

Selling would be much easier if this were true. It isn’t. One of the most frustrating things that can happen to you in a call is when your customer agrees that there is a problem, but does not seem ready to accept solution. Why is this?. Surely, if a problem is big enough, the customer must want a solution. Not necessarily. We all know people who choose to live with very serious difficulties, both in business and personal life-difficulties which any sensible person would want to resolve. We know from our own experience that sometimes the problem itself seems to overwhelm people and make them incapable of deciding on a solution. The same is true in selling. Some customers become so weighed down with problems that they can’t make a decision. And if you have really built up the significance of problems with your implication questions, then this type of customer may be even more unwilling to make a commitment. Wanting a solution is not automatic. The size of a problem is a guide but not a guarantee. It’s not enough to build up the problem. You may also have to actively help the customer to want a solution.

YOU SHOULD NEVER ASK NEED PAY-OFF QUESTIONS AFTER THE CUSTOMER HAS EXPRESSED AN EXPLICIT NEED.

This is false. On the contrary, some of the best need pay-off questions come after an explicit need has been expressed.

Need pay-off questions can be used to:

Identify the existence of an explicit need by asking whether the customer wants or is interested in a solution.

Clarify the explicit need by asking why and how the need is important, or by quantifying the value or usefulness of a solution.

Notice that need pay-off questions which clarify can be asked before or after the explicit need has been expressed by the customer.

Extend. After an explicit need has been identified and clarified, it’s always worth asking need pay-off questions to discover whether there is any other way in which a solution would help the customer.

THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN IMPLICATION QUESTIONS AND NEED PAY-OFF QUESTIONS IS THAT IMPLICATIONS QUESTIONS DEVELOP THE SOLUTION BY NEED PAY-OFF QUESTIONS DEVELOP THE PROBLEM.

This is not true.

It’s the other way around – implication question are problem-centered, they develop the problem so that it becomes more important to the customer. Need pay-off questions are solution centered they shift the customer’s attention towards the solution.

FEATURES HAVE MORE IMPACT ON THE CUSTOMER THAN ADVANTAGES.

This is not true.

Features are basically neutral, factual data about the product and it’s characteristics. They have low impact. Advantages are one step up- they show hoe features can be used or can help the customer, so buyers usually show more interest in them than in features. If you are unsure whether or not a statement is an advantage, here is one way to decide. Most advantages can be rephrased in the form of “Because of….you can…” so “It has a microprocessor, which increases reliability”, is an advantage since it could be rephrased as “Because of this microprocessor, you can get increased reliability.” Another way to recognize advantages is when the seller states a specific competitive superiority such as, “Our service is the cheapest on the market”, or “We are the only supplier with a one year guarantee. However, although advantages are more powerful than features, you should not set out to make more of them in your sales calls because;

Advantages quickly lose their impact.

They can create a negative response from customers, as is explained in the obtaining commitment.

They are much less powerful than benefits...

THE MORE FEATURES YOU CAN DESCRIBE TO THE CUSTOMER DURING THE CALL, THE MORE LIKELY YOU WILL BE TO MAKE THE SALE.


This is false.

No. features have very little impact on the outcome of a sale. In fact, most customer quickly become bored listening to product facts and details. Research shows that there are generally more features in the calls which fail than in those which succeed. It’s not that features are wrong and should be avoided entirely. Just that it’s a waste of valuable resources to use your time in the call to describe product characteristics when you could be using it more profitably by, for example;

Developing needs with problem, implication and need pay-off questions.

Making benefits to show how your product could meet the explicit needs you have developed.

This is particularly true with decision makers, where you often have less face to face time than you would like. It’s tempting to use that time to tell everything you can about your products. But you will find that giving a long list of features is a sure way to lose the decision maker’s interest. So try to restrict the number of features you describe during calls.

BENEFITS SHOW HOW A PRODUCT OR SERVICE CAN MEET AN IMPLIED NEED THAT A CUSTOMER HAS EXPRESSED.

This is False. No. be careful, it’s only a benefit if the customer has stated an explicit need. But isn’t that just playing games with words? Does it really matter whether the customer’s expressed an implied need or explicit need? Yes it not only matters, it’s crucial to your sales success. If you jump in too early with a solution (see effective selling) then you have little impact on the customer. At the implied stage, a need is only half developed and is not as strong as explicit need. It’s a common mistake to think that showing a customer how you can meet the implied need must be a benefit. But until you have got an explicit need from the customer, any solution you offer is, at the most an advantage. And as we have seen, advantages are less powerful than benefits.

THE MORE OFTEN YOU USE CLOSING TECHNIQUES DURING THE CALL, THE MORE LIKELY THE CUSTOMER WILL BE TO BUY.

This is false. Many experienced people think this is true. But research studies shows that when you increase the number of closes in a call, you actually reduce your success rate.

Fig success rate

One of the expert showed that, when a group of 50 salespeople were trained to use more closing techniques their success rate fell by 25%. Why is this? Does that mean it’s wrong to use closing techniques? Not necessarily. But what is wrong, and unfortunately very common, is for salespeople to use closing techniques as a substitute for effective needs development in the call. No closing technique in existence can guarantee you a sale if you have not developed a need in your customer. And if you have done a really a good job of needs development by using spin questions, for example- then closing comes very easily without using tricks or any techniques.

NEVER TAKE THE INITIATIVE BY ASKING THE CUSTOMER FOR A COMMITMENT; ALWAYS LET THE SALE CLOSE ITSELF.

This is false. Don’t believe it. Although the over-use of closing techniques can hurt you’re selling, the total absence of closing is even more damaging. People who have not sold before are often afraid to ask for the order. Consequently, they wait for the customer to take the initiative. But because the customer expects the seller to ask for a commitment, you can end up with two people each waiting for the other to close. This is not only awkward; it also allows the customer’s interest to cool and therefore loses sales.

Fig Number of closes per call

The highest success rate was when the seller closed once per call. So, if you want to be successful it’s no good just waiting for the sale to close itself- it won’t. You have got to take initiative. If you have done a good job of developing needs, then you have earned the right to ask the customer for a commitment.

THERE IS ONLY ONE THING WORTH CLOSING FOR IN A CALL- AND THAT’S AN ORDER FOR YOUR PRODUCT.

This is not true. If you are selling really cheap products, then there are only two things that can happen in a sales call. Either you take an order- or you don’t. So the order is the only thing to aim for. It’s very different when your product is more expensive. It’s often impossible to take an order from just one meeting. Consequently, you have got to aim for the highest realistic commitment which you can get from the customer. For example, if you are talking to a customer who is unable to authorize a purchase, no good expecting to get an order. But it is quite realistic to aim for a commitment from the customer to put you in front of the decision maker. Or, if the customer is not ready to decide and it’s clear that there is no possibility of an order, then you should ask for a smaller commitment, such as getting the customer’s agreement to demonstration or trial.


















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