The New Year’s kicking in. All my customers don’t seem to stir from their slumber ’til next Monday, so I’m taking the opportunity to do those chores salespeople hate; housekeeping. During my tidying up, I’ve already come across some docs I picked up at a customer sales conference eons ago. It was provided by their training company, a group of guys I always quite liked although no business ever came of it for either of us despite promising discussions.
I considered their intellectual view of the questioning process to be excellent, yet it was destined to be forever beyond the grasp of the average wholesale/distributor salesrep.
Simplifying a tad, the idea was you breakdown your pitch for each aspect of what you sell (for both product and service elements) into:
Features – headings that explain what you have
Advantages – as many as you can conjure
Proofs – anything that provides credibility
The trick then is to devise a series of questions that help expose an answer which’ll allow you to propose what you’ve got as a no-brainer. So, as a random example, taking one ‘element’ as Installation:
it could be Project Management (through dedicated personnel, single point of contact and supplier having ownership of project).
- smooth running of job – seamless
- time effectiveness
- transfer responsibility to supplier
- confidence in getting problems solved
- less worry/hassle/opportunity cost
- eliminate delays and subsequent penalties
such as References from other 3rd parties & detailed completed project plans.
This intel then allows you to create questions that lead the prospect to you. For example taking each of the first three advantages, questions that can introduce glory include:
‘how important is it that the installation runs smoothly and to schedule?’
‘what are your experiences of how well items are installed to spec?’
‘what have been your experiences of damages after the event?’