Jul 7, 2016

ADDITIONAL KNOWLEDGE TO SALESPEOPLE

ADDITIONAL KNOWLEDGE TO SALESPEOPLE

I Strongly insist all Salespeople to gain knowledge on all related field of his company. Only sales knowledge or selling skills may not be sufficient for them to handle the objections and tracking the customer in his field. I am sure this additional knowledge will enhance his selling attitude and selling practice even more on his day to day sales calls.

This additional knowledge may be useful in his customer seminar, small presentation and group discussions. Because you may be aware that most of the seminars or decision making group discussions involve top management and middle management in any organization which would help them to close the sales or making commitments to proceed further in the concerned matter. During such circumstances, if a salesperson not able to respond.

positively or fails to reply to the comments made by the customer, he may have to lose his opportunity of selling his benefits (products) to customer permanently. Hence it is very essential to know and understand the current management policy, purchase management, quality and assurance, design department, marketing, customer logistic, packing and dispatching of goods etc. Purchasing method or any purchasing policy may be slightly different from company to company, but purchasing procedure will be same. So, I have few tips on purchase for sales people below and I am sure this will guide and provide information on purchase management.

Purchasing Management.

Purchasing Procedure.

Purchasing for any organization, company and any institution involves arranging for the supply on time and at a suitable price of the right quantity of goods and materials, equipment, services and supplies which are required to meet production programmers, sales plans or operating departments. A standard purchase procedure consists of the following four stages: Few examples are given here to know more on purchase department.

Initiation.

Supplier selection.

Contract stage.

Completion.

Initiation – Purchase Requisition.

A purchase requisition is a request to the purchase department for something to be purchased. It serves to initiate the purchase and also for audit purpose to provide evidence of authorization or action taken. An example of the purchase requisition contains following items.

Requisition No.

To Department.

Purpose.

Date material – wanted.

Date.

Prepared by.

Approved by.

Sanctioning authority.

Particulars of format- Description and Code No.

Material on hand.

Orders pending.

Approximate value.

Special instructions.

Signature of the receiver.

Date.

Recd. In purchase department.

Date.

Order form.

Rate.

Documents.

Please give full specifications and avoid words immediate and urgent

Requisition must be filled up in consultation with store to avoid delay.

It is the responsibility of indenter to ensure that material is consumed within stipulated time period.

This is a very important form. It shows specifications of materials, quantity required material on hand, pending orders and average monthly consumption. This should be filled in carefully by the departments.

The most important columns ‘quantity required’. ‘ Date of material wanted’ and ‘ordering quantity’ has to be ascertained after considering stock on hand, rate of consumption and lead time i.e. period required in actual receipt of goods after placing the order.

The purchase department receives requisitions from various shops/dept. Such as stores, maintenance, production, machine shop assembly etc. for their non repetitive items. For supply of regular items, requisitions are filled in by the stores.

A broad classification of materials required by us has been made and records (quantity and value) are maintained in the accounts departments. The record of quantity is also maintained in the store. The classification is as below.

Raw materialsIron and steel and end product components.

Motor division.

Bolts and nuts.

Electrical goods.

Tools and drills.

Building materials.

Machines spares.

Gauges.

Departmental stores.

Instrumentation.

Auto components etc.

Miscellaneous materials.

















Jul 5, 2016

TIME MANAGEMENT

TIME MANAGEMENT

TIMING FACTORS

The chronological steps in the purchase cycle of the customer.

What and when are the ideal calling times?

Customer contacts vacation schedules.

your customer’s key events and dates-trade shows, product launches, ad campaigns, contact deadlines.

The customer’s ideal buying circle – budget time, financial year, decision time.

What is the length an average sales call.

How difficult is it to get an appointment.

SELLING STRATEGY

what realistic plans do you have for future business? Why?

Key products estimation in value and volume.

Customer’s service value file (total dollar value of your services)

What is it costing customer to go without solution.

Who are your competitors from whom he also buys? Why?

What is your key weakness with this account?

What is/are your key strength(s) - your competitive advantage- in this account?

Buyer’s objections to you.

What are their critical needs you can profitably fill?

Is the customer sophisticated or unsophisticated?

THE 3 MOST IMPORTANT WORDS IN SELLING ARE “LISTENING”, “LISTEN”, and “LISTEN”For many sales people or engineers, listening is very difficult. The temptation and curiosity to enthusiastically give the customer every single bit of product information is overwhelming. Many sales people perceive customer hesitation as a negative. Sales people hate silence. They feel compelled to fill the silence with words. If so, they “telling”, not “selling”. Learning how to listen is a mandatory sales skill. I hope following are the important few tips to sales people, so as to avoid inconveniences/ awkward situations during the sales call.

Practice listening….to your family members, friends and colleagues.

Be conscious of the time you spend talking. Train yourself to listen to yourself.

Write BQLD on your selling materials. This will remind you to be Quiet. Listen, Discipline.

Practice your pre planned questions before your sales call.

Ask questions during sales call. Asking a question is the first step in listening.

Whenever you ask a question, regardless of the question you must wait until the customer replies. If the customer does not answer the question in his reply ask it again.

Train yourself to always pause, at least momentarily, before responding to your customer’s last words.

Remember, on the sales call you must be listening 80% of the time. Therefore, if your pre arranged appointment is for 20 min, you must be listening for 16 min. That allows you only 4 min for asking questions and explaining benefits.

Imagine in your mind’s eye that a 4 min timer, is ticking while you are talking. In general the more time you spend talking the less chance you have closing.

Take notes when your customer is talking to you. Contrary certain sales theories, taking note is an excellent selling tool. It conveys professionalism, true interest, and concern. Doesn’t a doctor take notes, and write down your responses, when he goes through your annual physical questionnaire?

Use your customized investment return analysis form to engage your customer, and to record his numbers in calculating the value of the benefits of your product solution.

Be prepared to interrupt your presentation, at any time, if the customer starts asking question or stating objections. Do not, for e.g., in response to a question early in your presentation say, “We’re going to get to that in a few minutes”. Instead, listen very, very carefully. Often early customer questions indicate the most important concerns. Satisfactorily answering the question can lead to an early close. If you are doing team selling, the sales person who is not talking is supposed to watch the decision maker intently. He is not supposed to watch the sales person, or the presentation materials. He is the assigned listener. He is supposed to interrupt the presentation if the decision maker wants to ask something.

It is especially important to listen to the irate or upset customer. Let the customer went his feelings whether they are at you, your company, or at anything also. If you must respond be sure to do so in a softer voice than the customer’s. A good rule of thumb is the louder your customer, the softer your response. After a customer vents he is often inclined to buy.

Listen for buying signals. Watch body language of customer. If you find positive buying signals immediately take commitments.

If you do make the sale, stop talking and gracefully terminate the meeting. BQLD. Be Quiet Listen discipline.

The following words will rarely get you in trouble and will often help you close or get a commitment to an action that leads to a close.

“Okay”

“Yes”

“correct’

“You are right”

“I agree with you”

“Why is that?”

“Thank you”

“Please”

“How can I help?” & “Is that what you want?”
















Jun 5, 2016

EFFECTIVE SELLING-KEY POINTS

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.


















Mar 7, 2016

EASY STEPS TO WIN YOUR CUSTOMER'S TRUST AND CONFIDENC

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.”


Download or see a demo of a sample format of Consequence Worksheet of a salesperson below:

Mar 6, 2016

EFFECTIVE SELLING ANSWERS

EFFECTIVE SELLING ANSWERS

INVALID STEPS NOT TO BE TAKEN BY SALESPEOPLE

If you want to persuade it’s better to give information than to seek it.

This is absolutely false.

Not on your life! Few of us are persuaded by listening to the opinions of others. Research shows that giving your ideas, arguments or opinions has a low impact on other people and rarely succeeds. It’s hard to talk to people into accepting your point, especially if the division is a big one. It’s much more effective to ask questions which let them talk themselves into acceptance.

The more customers know your product or service the more likely they are to buy.

This is false statement.

Of course. It’s true that customers like to know what they are getting, and often ask a lot of questions about product and services. The main reason for this is that they want to know whether your offering meets their needs. If customer’s see that you are offering a whole list of features which they don’t need, it will reduce the chance that they will buy. When looking at major sales, it’s found that the more feature the customer hears, the lower the success rate.

Effective sellers tell their customers about their products as soon as possible.

This is not truth.

Effective sellers tend to wait until they understand customer’s needs clearly. That way they can focus on aspects of their product or service which they know will be of interest.

When you are selling, the more questions you ask the better

This is false always.

It’s true that questions are a vital part of the sales process, but more is not always better! If the buyer finds the questions irrelevant or unhealthful, more such questions will only makes things worse. Clearly, there is a limit to how many questions you can ask before a sales call becomes an interrogation. One significant finding of the research was that the higher the quality of questions, the higher the limit of number you can ask.

The time you spend in each of the phases is about the same in every sales call.

Remember this is false.

The length of the phases will vary from call to call, according to the needs of the customers and where you are in the overall sales process. If its first visit the chances are that you will spend much more time establishing your credentials and the relationship, and investing needs. Later on you are likely to spend more time showing how your solution meets the needs, and winning a commitment to progress to the next stage or to an order.

The more experienced you are at selling, the more successful you will be.

This is false always.

Not necessarily. We can learn from experience, but it can also sometimes lead us to inaccurate conclusions, particularly about the factors which lead to success. If particular behaviors or habits seem to be associated with sales success, it’s all too easy to conclude that they are the cause of it. It was found that people who ascribed their success to one specific opening technique, to a ‘killer close’, and to more bizarre factors like clean shoes and green ties! These were probably entirely incidental. The actual cause of success was probably some aspect of skill which, being harder to recognize, they did not associate with their successful experiences.

CUSTOMER NEEDS ANSWERS

Implied needs are statements of wants or desires by the customers.

This is false.

The opposite. Remember that a customer’s needs seldom start in the form of a want or desire. The first sign that a customer has a need is usually an expression of a problem, difficulty or dissatisfaction with the existing situation. That’s why we split needs into 2 kinds:

Implied needs

Statements by the customer of problems, difficulties or dissatisfaction.

Explicit needs

Statements by the customer of wants, desires or intentions

The investigating stage of the call asks questions to reveal implied needs and then by further questions, develops these implied needs into strong, clear wants and desires. In other words, into explicit needs.

A customer whose problems are large is always ready to accept a solution.

This is false always.

Absolutely not! The number of people with huge problems who seem to be able to bury their heads in the sand demonstrates this. The difficulty for the seller is in recognizing just when the buyer is ready; the best clue to that is when the buyer starts to talk about explicit needs.

A Customer with an explicit need is always ready to buy.

This is always false remembering.

Explicit needs correlate with success, in so far as there are more of them in successful sales calls. However, there’s more to it than that. In evaluating whether or not to buy, the customer ‘weighs’ The perceived value of change against the perceived cost of change. We all do this, in any purchasing decision. And the higher the perceived cost, the more likely we are to think carefully about the decision. So, in major sales you have to have the ability to influence this perception, to get the customer to recognize that the need ‘outweighs’ the cost.

OPENING THE CALL QWIRK
Every sales call should be opened in exactly the same way.

No! It’s false statement.

Research shows that sellers who open every call with almost exactly the same words have a lower success rate than those who employ more variety.

Flexibility is a key note for success in opening. After all each of your customers is different and the opening need to recognize this

Take, for example, a customer you have never met before. Would you open the call in the same way as you would for a customer you have known for some time? Of course not. And how about the customer who has asked you to come for a meeting? Isn’t that different from those calls where you take the initiative?

Of course it is. For one thing, if the customer has called you, then you don’t have to explain why you are having the meeting. And it’s easier for you to begin your questioning. It’s also true that some customers like to start by talking about non- business -related issues, while for others the sooner you get down to business the better.

So customers are different and your opening must reflect this. Don’t get into the bad habit of opening every call in the same way. If you do, you will get to sound like a record. And not many customers buy from a recording.

OPENING THE CALL ANSWERS
When opening a call it’s important to describe full details of your product so that the customer knows exactly what you have got to offer.

No it is FALSE.

A lot of people do this. It’s sometimes called ‘spray and pray’ selling and it won’t help you get business.

Why shouldn’t you talk a lot about your product at the start of the call? Several reasons:

1. Giving is less powerful than seeking, so telling the customer about the product is a week way to influence.

2. By describing your product you offer a solution to the customer. As the Effective Selling QWIRK points out offering a solution early in the call has a little impact.

3. At the start of the call, you don’t know what the customer needs- so the solution you offer maybe inappropriate.

4. Describing your product too early often gets the customer asking you the questions- especially about the price- and creates unnecessary objections.

So don’t talk about details of your product when you open the call. Just try to set the scene in a way which allows you to ask the questions and doesn’t trap you into a lot of weak giving behavior.

When you have met previously it’s unnecessary to introduce yourself again.

No it is FALSE.

Customers are busy people, and they will often see many sellers other than you during the course of a week. If you know them very well it would clearly be absurd to introduce yourself formally and handover another business card. However, less familiar customers will appreciate the courtesy of a reminder of your name and the purpose of the visit. It’s a judgment which comes from experience, but the important point to remember is to try to put yourself in the position of the customer- if you feel that he or she may have forgotten your name, find a way of introducing it without being too formal about it.

Customers are generally happy to see you without an appointment, providing you have a good offer.

No it is FALSE.

In recent years, surveys of buyers have revealed that one of the thing they say that they hate sellers who visits without appointments. Some buildings even have notices saying “No sales people seen without an appointment”. Surprisingly, this is equally true in those industries where, traditionally, sellers have “just popped in”.

The exception is where there is a defector appointment i.e. the seller visits on the same day each month, at the same time. Even then, it’s worth telephoning to fix an appointment if you are trying to introduce a new product or service to an existing customer. This helps to ensure that you get the time you need.

Some news revealed that some people respond to “being caught unawares” by cutting back on their reactions- they give less feedback to the seller than they would in other circumstances. For such types of people, this would seem to be an unconscious, reflex action rather than a deliberate act. Either way, the behavior can have a disconcerting effect on the seller, and actually reduce the likelihood of success. So, just “popping in is generally counter- productive.

In order to establish rapport, you should always talk about the customer’s personal interests and hobbies.

No it is FALSE.

Some customers do respond to this approach, but just as many don’t. It is mistake to assume that, because you as the seller want to build a relationship, the customer does to. Sometimes he just wants the information he needs to make a decision in the most efficient way possible. People like this will be very irritated by attempts to get close, and will tend to reject them.

A good opening will determine whether or not you win the business.
No it’s FALSE.

It’s often asserted, but there is no solid reason to support the assertion. It’s possible that the quality of the opening influences success in smaller sales, where you expect to conclude the business in one meeting. Even then, it’s more likely that a poor opening will lose the business than that a good one will win it.

In major sales, which may involve many meetings between the first contact and the final decision, it is very unlikely that the five minutes has a significant influence on success.

SUMMARY OF KEY POINTS
When you open a call, you are trying to achieve three main things; you want the customer to:

Know who you are

Know why you are there;

Agree to answer questions.

Since note taking is so valuable in a call, it is also 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, too, that you are more likely to find your customer in a respective mood if you make an appointment.

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