There is a saying in sales negotiation that says “he who speaks first loses”.
The concept is when negotiating the price, the first to set the offer will be the first to cave and lose the battle.
I’m not a fan of negotiating my fees or yours, so in that scenario, I don’t subscribe to that saying. However, I do still believe there is a lot of truth to that statement when it comes to the sales and marketing conversation. I see businesses and salespeople lose sales all the time simply because they won’t shut up. To be perfectly honest with you, I’ve even done it myself more times than I care to admit as I’m sure you have too.
In that case, this article is just a reminder on the secret to selling more
The other day I was in a zoom demo call with a software I was looking into. The salesman quickly dove into the product showing me all of its features, benefits, bells, and whistles. He then ended his presentation with “do you see how this can help your business?”
No, I don’t.
Yes, I got to see everything it could do. It looked like a great software than can do many things. But I failed to see how it can solve my problems. The salesman did nothing to show me how it can help me and my specific problems. Why?
Because he wouldn’t shut up about his program. Instead, if he had taken the time to ask me some questions at the beginning, he would have been able to show me exactly how it would solve my problems instead of asking me if I saw how.
As salespeople, customer service experts, and marketers we have one job.
Set the narrative on how your product or service solves the client’s problem. How can you do that if you don’t first ask the questions that allow you to do that? This is the secret to selling more.
Here are some great ways to frame those questions.
“Before we get started on the demo, can you first give me an idea of what you think we do and how it helps your business?”
This question allows you to know where the customer is at in their understanding of what you do. You can then clarify, redirect, or add to their understanding, improving their engagement for the rest of the conversation.
“What are you hoping a (product or service you sell) will do for you?”
This helps you understand the outcomes they’re looking for. It also helps you qualify them, maybe you can’t give them the desired outcome, or maybe you can, and so much more!
“What is it you don’t like about your current (product or service)?”
This allows you to focus on what makes your thing better. You can focus on the pain they have and tell them, that won’t happen with our thing.
These are just a few questions of the many you can and should be asking before you dive into trying to sell your product or service.
Do you see how shutting up and listening is the secret to selling more?
There is another saying that goes like this:
“Those who ask questions control the conversation.”
It’s the rookies that believe they can just talk the prospect into the sale. Then the salesperson ends up twisting arms and making sales to people who are not a good fit, causing even more problems for the business.
I hope this helps you or your team in their sales process. Asking and answering direct questions about your product or service should be a very detailed process.
You should have a document that lists all the top questions people ask so your team can memorize them. You should have a FAQ section on your website so you can help answer those questions before a customer calls in. You can even make great social media content based on those questions.
So the next time you’re having sales problems, perhaps you just need to shut up and listen.