If your salespeople can’t give their prospects a reason to buy, then they will struggle to close sales. They need to make your product or service – and your business itself – vital to customers, and make the case that the prospect is better off with you than without. They need to make their value clear – but that can be tougher than it sounds.
Build value in the conversation. Value is only created in the mind of the buyer. For some reason, salespeople think that by telling the prospect all of the reasons that something has value, value will be realized. But the exact opposite thing happens: when statements are made about why things have value, prospects automatically start disqualifying you rather than buying you. If I tell you that I’m the best business writer in the world, you won’t accept that at face value – you’ll question it, and at that moment I’ve already lost the debate.
For a salesperson to create value, he or she must assist the prospect in discovering the value on their own. Ideally, the prospect must actually be thinking, “this is really good stuff, so I better hide how much I love it.” If you discover something, you believe it. If you hear it, you disqualify or discredit it.
Discovery comes from asking good questions, like “If you discovered that there was a way to solve this $100,000 problem, what would that mean to your company?” When the prospect begins telling you what you mean to them, they are creating value, and you are selling.
Make sure their compelling reasons have a higher “cost” than you do. Price is not the sole deciding factor in purchasing decisions – at least not in the way we think. If a vendor can save me 1% but the administration costs, paperwork, or the headaches of a whiny vendor are not worth the savings, I won’t do it. The price isn’t the reason for my decision, but it does reflect value to me. I might make a trip across town if gas there is half-price, but not to save a nickel a gallon.
To resolve this as a salesperson, you must make sure that the compelling reasons to choose you overpower the reasons not to choose you. The threshold of that compelling reason must be low enough that they do not question making the change or doing things differently.
To be effective in this area, the prospect really has to turn the tables and begin selling you. The prospect must get to the point where they are telling you all of the reasons why they should switch to you or change how they are doing things. They have to become the salespeople and you have to become the prospect. This is the point where compelling reasons are really exposed and are usually enough to cause an action. Start asking questions like, “Why would you want to change?” or “Why choose us over them?”
If a salesperson can manage to effectively build the value of your service in the prospect’s eyes, it’s going to be very hard for him or her to keep from buying from you. It must be done naturally, but if successful, the conversation may end with the client selling you to himself.