October 28, 2008
Productivity Tips Newsletter
Performance Max Sales and Sales Management Tip
Subject: Sales Tip “Easy Exits”
Problem: During Bill’s debrief with Cathy, the sales leader, it was becoming clear that Bill was aggressively using the “pull” approach. The pull approach to sales occurs when one is, constantly trying to convince and persuade prospects to buy from them. Of course, their prospects are on to these tactics and are doing their best to “push” the salesperson away. Often, even good prospects feel trapped and push the salesperson away because they don’t want to be sold.
Situation: Cathy suggested a new sales strategy needed to be employed by Bill. Going back to the philosophical premise of the DNA Solution Selling process she recommended Bill subscribe to this idea, “Let the prospect earn your continued participation in the sales process.” Give the prospect an easy exit, pushing them away, can have magical results when you have a good prospect. Use the judo questioning tactics from DNA Solution Selling to execute this strategy.
Prescription: An “easy exit” is an opportunity for you to make the prospect feel comfortable by bringing up situations that may still be a source of concern and let the prospect deal with them. You’ll find that one of two things will happen:
During your initial meeting say,
“If we don’t have a fit, it’s okay to tell me.”
“We may spend some time together today looking at your situation only to find that we’re not the right solution for you. If we’re not, you need to be comfortable telling me that. Okay?”
When the prospect begins to discuss his challenges say,
“That problem doesn’t sound like it’s causing you that much trouble. Are you sure it’s really that important to fix?”
“It doesn’t appear that the company is really that committed to finding a solution now. Wouldn’t you agree?”
During your budget discussion try,
“I get the feeling that this is much more that you had planned to spend. Do we need to talk further about that?”
You need to keep your “antenna” up at all times to assess what the prospects are implying when they make a statement. Often a prospect will not tell you the whole truth regarding a problem, but will send out bits of (mis)information instead. It’s your job to relieve pressure and help discover what the prospect is really saying (see the above examples). You role is to gently minimize the prospect’s assertions of pain or gain and their commitment to do something to fix it, thus getting them to defend their position and prove to you that they are a good prospect with real commitment to finding a solution.Any time you give them an easy exit they don’t take that door, they’re sending a message that they want to do business.
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