At the beginning of class I usually ask the question, “What is the goal of your sales call; whether it is on the phone or in person?” I always hear someone say, “I need to educate my prospect.” I replied with “Educate them on what?” They say, “On my products, our services, the company, my experience.” “Is that where you want the focus during the rest of the meeting – on you?” I response. “Well, they need to know what I offer in order for them to buy from me.” They say. “And that’s your goal of the sales call?” “Yes,” they reply.
If you approach the sales call with educating your prospect, are you being presumptive? Do you assume they don’t know anything about your product? Are you curious about what they know about your company? Where is the focus of the call if the focus is on your solution? Are you turning your product into commodity by focusing on the solution and not on the overall cost? What does your prospect really need to know?
Does the prospect know they don’t know? By approaching the call with a goal to educate them, you are almost saying to them, “Hey moron, let me teach you a lesson, because you don’t know anything.”
What you need to educate your prospect on is – the impact, the risk, the consequences and the cost – if they do nothing. That is your biggest competition.
Inaction is what you fight everyday as a salesperson. Prospects giving you a “think it over,” tell you they are getting three quotes, or asking you enough questions for them to learn so much about your solution, they are able to shop your service and products on the Internet and perhaps do it themselves.
What do you want to learn during the sales call about your prospect? I’m guessing you’d like to learn about their decision-making process, other options that have considered, how long they have been thinking about making a change, how will they measure the return, what their budget is, what is the cost and impact to them if they do nothing and why are they talking to you today.
As you ask the questions to find out their impact and why they want to make a change now, they will also learn the answers. When you both learn about the risks and consequences, get on the same side of the table as your prospect with the challenges on the other side and fight together to overcome the problem with your prospect.
Remember: Your focus is on them – Not you. People buy for their reasons – Not yours. When you work together with your prospect on identifying the problems, discovering the impact, determining the cost of inaction – you both will be able to compare the cost of inaction to the price of action – your solution. Solutions have no value unless they are able to stick to a problem. All Solution and no Problem – equals no Value. No Value equals – they pay nothing – do nothing and still have an undiscovered problem.