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Let's go through a couple of scenarios. First off, let's consider the last sales discussion you had with a prospect in the last 30 days. How did that conversation conclude? Were you able to come to agreement, or did you struggle with reaching agreement?
Whichever result you were able to achieve, let me give you a play-by-play, if you will, that will allow you to control the engagement, conversation, and overall, come to an agreement.
1. PRE-FRAMING: I'm sure this is becoming more and more of a buzzword in today's sales environment, especially with the likes of Oren Klaff. He has some great content, and the book, "Pitch Anything" certainly has some great pointers for controlling conversations. A very simple and elementary method for pre-framing includes utilizing an agenda. Yes, you heard that correctly, using an agenda. Create an agenda with time stamps, so you're showing your prospect what you'll need to cover, so as to allow them to view your organization, professionalism and efficiency.
2. SOFT GREEN LIGHTS: This is something I don't see many sales people use. However, this is something fundamentally necessary to move the engagement along. I like to supplant soft green lights throughout the agenda as a method to ensure the prospect is on the same page and grants permission to move onto the next step. (Example: "I'm going to be asking you a series of questions, and walking you through these specific steps. If there are no objections and I'm able to answer your questions, I'll be asking for your business - does that sound fair?") This is an example of a soft green light.
3. EDUCATING: I take 8-10 minutes to educate my prospects prior to any discovery questions. Open this conversation with a simple question, "How much do you know about (insert your solutions)?" Allow them to educate you on what they have found through research, experience, knowledge, or simply rumors. Then, your window to offer INSIGHTS becomes ever apparent and open. Utilize this window to address the information uncovered. Utilize industry speak, data, case studies, and your personal metrics produced through your results.
4. LISTENING: Listening is going to be one of the key elements of obtaining real, reliable and relevant information necessary to craft an offer that meets the businesses challenges, and needs. If you're not aware of their challenges, needs and goals - how can you offer them anything? Right? Right! Your agenda should include a series of question. Ask the question. Shut up, and listen.
5. SHARING: We all have stories, we all have experiences, and intelligence from your colleagues. Utilize these to craft a story that revolves around your solution, how you took a specific challenge and implemented your solution to improve their business. Keep in mind, every business has specific challenges, some focus on (a) Income Producing Activities, (b) Business Process Enhancement and (c) Brand Building. Focus on crafting and sharing a story that addresses these areas.
6. OFFERING: Victor Antonio states that you should always have three offers with each proposal. I agree and highly recommend you come up with three solutions to meet their needs. For me, I work on three specific offers. Offer #1 is a short term solution, something low-level as far as investment, and short term to help them achieve a certain level of success with either A, B or C (mentioned above). Offer #2 is a mid-level offer that lasts between 12-18 months, and helps them achieve two of the A, B or C (mentioned above). Then, Offer #3, is the mecca of offers, this is your high ticket solution that includes all of the bells and whistles needed to completely overhaul their business and take them to the next level with scale-ability in mind.
***Pro-Tip: If they have made it this far through Soft Green Lights, then they have been vetted and qualified to see your solutions, keep that in mind as you build out your 7-step agenda.
7. ASKING: 8 out of 10 sales people never ask for the business (Grant Cardone, Sell or Be Sold 2015). According to Grant Cardone, 8 out of every 10 sales people never ask for the business. There are three reasons for this. 1] they don't properly qualify their prospect to ensure they're ready to made a buying decision, 2] They fail to build value in their presentation as they didn't ask the right questions, and 3] they fear the ask because they didn't earn commitment (soft green lights) throughout the presentation. Walk through the first 6 steps, and this will, without a doubt, prepare you for the ask. Once you're at Step 7, ask for the business. (Example: "Mr. Prospect, we have uncovered your current challenges, you explained to me why this is important, and defined a timeline of urgency - with these factors in mind, I'm confident Package #2 is the right fit. Sign here, and I'll get this started/ordered/onboarded right away.")
I hope this information has been helpful for you, and you're in a position to start implementing some of these steps into your sales process to come to agreement. Feel free to download our FREE EBOOKS on Lead Generation and Local Search. We are developing new resources every month for our audience to consume. You can also head over to our FACEBOOK PAGE to check out our FB LIVE audio feeds which cover a wide range of topics revolving around sales.
If you're still struggling, feel free to schedule a time to chat and get your free discovery call to help you improve your sales processes.
Business Growth Specialist
Superior Marketing Group
Curtis DeCora specializes in Business Development and Tribal Economic Development roles. Equipped with 10 years of experience in corporate sales, door-to-door sales, and outsourced sales - helping small businesses increase their sales and increase productivity.