The key to successful selling: Become a priority
"The customer loves our product and service and they want to buy from us, but right now they are handling some higher priority situations, however I am sure right after that they are definitely going to buy from us!" If you constantly hear yourself or one of your sales professionals make this statement and find that the customer still has not purchased after several months, you need to understand something; you are NOT a priority to the customer and you need to become one. Why is it that a sales professional’s number one priority is to close the sale and yet buying the product is the prospective client’s last priority? If the product or service helps the customer, they like it, they want it, then why would it not be a top priority, if not the number one priority?
The answer is simple. Your product or service cannot become a client’s No. 1 priority until you understand the customer's priorities. There are a couple of things you can do to move buying your product or service up on the customer's priority list without having to offer a financial incentive or limited time offer.
Avoiding the Limited Time Offer
Many organizations create a sense of urgency or move up the priority list of their customers by trying to offer a financial incentive or a limited time offer. This works in many retail environments, which is why retailers have weekly specials and advertisements in newspapers, but what about in business to business sales or those retail sales that are not based on a weekly special or advertisement?
A salesperson must create a sense of urgency or become the customer’s priority, but the difference between a sales clerk and sales professional is that the salesperson should away from trying to be the cheapest. Selling on price alone devalues the product; it is about selling the value, the benefit, not the price alone. The difference is found when you start to focus on becoming a priority to the customer. If you try to create a sense of urgency as a solution or as a strong close, all you have is limited quantity or limited time offer, but when you focus on the priority in the beginning by asking the right questions, you are able to influence the customer to buy now without resorting to desperate tactics. The question is, how can you get customers to view your product or service as a priority?
Becoming a Priority
When developing your purposeful questions (qualifying questions), develop questions that will allow you to understand the goals and current priorities of the prospective customer. The better you understand the customer's goals and priorities, the more likely it is that you will be able to show how your product or service will help benefit the customer as their top priority. This is a lot more than asking open-ended questions or leading questions. Ask questions to truly understand the prospect's responsibilities and the pains of their job until you’ve gained enough knowledge to directly show how your product or service can help the prospective customer with their immediate goals or priorities. By doing this, the prospective customer knows they need to buy now.