You've probably felt like the prospects, quite often, are controlling the sales process. If you've been in sales for any longer than five minutes that's happened to you, because it's happened to everybody in sales. The purpose of this blog post is to help you know a little bit more about what might be happening in the sales process, so you have a better feel for how to counteract it, and a better understanding of when it's happening to you. In the traditional selling model, there's really four steps that we found that most traditional selling will use.
First is small talk. You're going in and making happy talk about the weather or the time of the year or the day of the week or the sports team or the Super Bowl or something that's happening.
(Maybe here in Chicago, you can talk about the cold weather and snow!)
Second comes the needs analysis. Asking open-ended, probing questions so that we can do a presentation.
(For those in IT sales, this can be especially important)
Third, at the end of the presentation, we can use one of the 40 different closes that we learned. And the finally:
Fourth, if they give us a think-it-over we begin chasing them.
This is traditional, has been around a long time, AND the prospects have figured this out. They've developed the system that we can play right into if we're not careful.
In the prospect system, the first step is to mislead. In the first contact on the phone, quite often, they just want to blow us off and they tell us things that are lies just to get the phone call to be over.
Once we're in front of them, they quite often mislead about their true needs, or if they have the budget, or if they can make a decision. Many time’s the misleading here leads to the second step, in which the prospect wants to get information. Sometimes it's called unpaid consulting, where they really want a lot of information. They want to pick our brain and then use it against us in some way, to negotiate a better deal with the current supplier. They want to put it out to bid and use our information to better educate themselves, but the bottom line is this misleading to get information is very classic in most industries.
Once they have our information, mislead number two kicks in. When we're following up, they're not giving us the true objection. When we're trying to figure out a next step, they're blowing us off and giving us some excuse as to why we have to keep waiting.
At the very end of this process for them, quite often, is avoiding. So what's happened is, while we're chasing they're avoiding. While we're trying to close or get a next step, they're not giving us the true objection. When we're presenting, they're taking that information quite often as unpaid consulting. And when we're doing the needs analysis, they're rarely being completely forthright and honest about what information they're sharing.
For your selling, what system do you use?
Of course, I'm biased. The Sandler system is right on this site, but if you don't use Sandler, find something. Because if you don't have a selling system you are going to automatically default into the prospect system.
If you would like to sign up for our weekly video tips, click here.