How many times have you walked into a store thinking “I hope nobody tries to sell to me, I know what I want to buy so let me get it, pay, and leave.”? Your clients are no different: they will be much happier if they are doing the buying – the pulling – rather than you doing the selling – pushing your solution on them.
Let Them Pull
In a recent post I explained that Nobody Wants Your Product. People want the outcome your product will provide. And this is the point: let your client tell you what that outcome is.
Remember that your client knows their own business, their priorities, their particular needs. You have the expertise on your product or service; but they understand the inner workings of their own companies, how they buy and how solutions are implemented and rolled out.
Allow them to explain their needs to you, not the other way around.
This does not mean entering a sales conversation with a blank piece of paper and not saying a word. You are still guiding the conversation.
How do you allow them to determine priorities, and still keep control of the conversation?
You ask questions.
Then listen to the answers.
Do not ask your clients about how they will use your product or service: ask them about themselves and their own work. What are they hoping to achieve? Why is that the priority and how has it been determined? Who is responsible for these outcomes and where does the work take place.
Once you have a good understanding of their needs and responsibilities, you can start to suggest the solutions your product or service will provide. This, too, will be more powerful if presented as an option they can pull and accept, rather than imposed upon them.
In other words: explain how they can use your product or service to achieve those goals, work within their resources and maximize their tools. Present your product in their own context.
You might have only one product. But you have as many solutions as you have clients.
Each client will perceive what they buy as unique. The solution they are purchasing has been placed firmly in the context of their own needs. You don’t have to build a whole new product for each client; yet each client is receiving a unique experience.
Allowing a buyer to “pull” means letting him or her pick and choose what matters as they relate it to their real life scenarios. This removes any frustrations brought by misunderstandings and potential over-selling, because it is fully about their needs, rather than about your solution. Do not push your solution on to your prospects, but let them guide and pull what they need and why.
- Review your current sales process and the questions you ask.
- Ensure you have questions helping you understand Technical, Business and Personal needs.
- Add a “why” question to each area of your sales discovery script.