Old School Selling Tactics No Longer Work, But This Does
By: Tom Heinmiller of Heinmiller Consulting. A seasoned fractional sales manager serving Dublin & Columbus, Ohio. His expertise is among Sales, Sales Training, Prospecting, and most importantly revenue growth for all companies he works with.
In an earlier blog we discussed how subconscious assumptions can sabotage a sale. Let’s explore this concept a little deeper. A good salesperson asks questions to uncover a prospects’: needs, wants, likes, dislikes, and perspective. Here is a question I recently heard while monitoring an on-line sales call.
“If I could show you how to easily solve your problem would that be of interest to you”?
Let’s look at this question and examine why it isn’t effective:
1. The intention behind the question is not one designed to discover a prospect’s needs; it is a leading question that is about you are setting the prospect up for a completely different purpose.
2. It is a “closed” question and the only information you will glean is a yes or a no. More importantly, it’s a manipulative question because the only logical answer is yes.
3. It’s a question that leads right into a pitch. As soon as the prospect answers the question – “yes”, the next words that will come out of your mouth will be pitching words.
4. Today’s prospects recognize when they are being manipulated and this damages “trust”.
5. Trust is imperative in gaining a positive reaction from a prospect.
This question is a product of old-school selling tactics – they no-longer work! (I learned this exact question in the 1960’s). Sales Reps who pitch their products or solutions to early in the sales process miss the opportunity to sell value.
Another example of old school tactics is responding to early to an objection. A better tactic is to first ask clarifying questions. Check your assumptions and get a deeper understanding of the stated concern. You can then use these questions to transition to your response.
The key point is to be clear about the intention of the question and use it to discover a real need and then lead the person to your message? Manipulative, positioning questions can ruin a relationship.
When beginning a conversation, it is amazing how a small tweak in a question can dramatically alter the response. What questions do you use to set-up your client? How could you change it to discover more about your client and position yourself for a win?