“Aren’t we there to provide solutions?”
“Absolutely, but how can you provide the solution, if you don’t know what the challenge is.”
However, how many times do we go into a presentation with: “This, (insert product or service) will solve all of your challenges.”
Asking questions is a skill. Like any skill, it must be developed and then practiced. It is not only the question but the timing of the question. Doctors, police, hostage negotiators and interrogators practice questioning techniques consistently as part of their training. Business is no different; it is the question and the timing of those questions which will differentiate you from all others.
“I’m sorry, they are not in at the present time.”
“But we had an appointment for today.”
How many times has that happened to you? You set up an appointment and when you get there, your prospect or client performs the old vanishing act.
Why does this happen? What can you do to decrease the number of times that this happens? Let’s be serious, it will happen again. However, we can greatly decrease the times it does happen.
Have you ever sent out an email or made a phone call and got an ‘out of the office’ message? Did you read the ‘I will return on…’ email to the end, or, did you simply hit ‘delete?’ Have you ever hung up after making a note of when they will be returning without hearing the whole message? If so, those are opportunities lost.
The challenge which most of us in sales have is that we make simple things hard. We take a look at a concept, or new idea and think: “It can’t be that simple, can it?” Not only is it that simple, but it is also easy. We further complicate the process by again saying to ourselves: “Let me see if I can actually find the way to do this.” Therefore, making it harder than it has to be.
There is no doubt that there has been a steady increase in the individuals involved in making any kind of decision in most businesses. There are now more committees or boards that have to be somehow integrated into the decision making process. According to CEB, a global best practice insights company, there is on average 5 people that have to formally sign off on purchases. With this in mind and with the fact that you are paid on the ability to get the prospect to make a decision, purchase or not, does it not make sense to have a clear understanding on how that decision would be made?
During a recent session of The Action Suite, we were discussing how to make the ‘First Contact’ easier and with greater success than that of the past. ‘First Contact’, also know best as, ‘Cold Calls’ have a couple of brothers that like to hang around. The first is ‘rejection’. The ugly brother that comes along for the ride is, ‘failure.’