Are You Wasting Your Time Presenting To Shoppers?
Establish your discovery process
You finally got the first meeting with that long elusive and whale of a prospective customer! You think you've done your homework and bring a masterpiece of a PowerPoint presentation that is going to solve all of your prospect's problems.
With anxious enthusiasm - you begin puking your disconnected solutions all over your potential customer. This confident belching of how you're going to save the prospect money, time and increase sales continues on for over 20 minutes when you wind down and wait for the only potential response in your mind of, "Where do I sign?"
The reality is that this prospect's business priorities are currently focused on and in urgent need of positive PR in the community due to a recent chemical spill that resulted in bad press and lost local area customers.
Your first meeting with a prospect should never - ever - begin with a presentation of your solution. Even if the prospect expects it - don't give in.
Your initial meeting must be focused on discovering the prospects top 5 business priorities and understanding why these priorities are important - in depth!
Once you have established and confirmed these priorities - without offering a single solution - you ask the customer, "If I can offer a solution that meets or exceeds all of your 5 priorities, can I have your business?"
At this point there are only 3 potential answers - this is where you determine whether you are dealing with a shopper or a buyer.
Are You Spending Enough Time Doing Discovery?
7 Steps To Determine A Buyer
1. Schedule Your Discovery Meeting
2. Ask and understand the customers top 5 business priorities.
3. Determine why these priorities are important
4. Ask for the business
5. Uncover objections
6. Get prospects commitment you will have their business
7. Go put together your brilliant PowerPoint presentation that addresses each of these 5 priorities
Ask For The Business & Uncover Objections
The only 3 potential responses from the prospect after you ask for their business is, "yes," "no," or "maybe."
If you get a "yes" - pull out your contract and have them sign immediately! (Then take the rest of the day off because you just had an epic win)!
If you get a "no" - continue asking why to understand what the obstacle is. This is where you will get the skinny on whether they are already under a contract with the competitor or the CEO is married to your competition's daughter, etc. The beauty of getting a "no" at this point in the sales process is that you just saved yourself hours of time and energy and have a better understanding of where your new business is coming from - and it isn't here - at least not today.
Here's the big one, and the most common response - "maybe." The response is usually something like, "well, we will have to compare your prices with our current supplier." This is where you continue to dig into and isolate every single objection. Your response must always be, "assuming my prices are the same of better than your current supplier, is there any other reason we would not have your business?"
There may be a few more or a long list of continued responses that include things like, "maybe, but I have to check with the CFO who will have to review the proposal." (This is a big objection to uncover because you've just discovered there is another decision maker in the mix and you need to go through the discovery process with all the decision makers to determine and align their top 5 priorities)
It is critical that you continue uncovering and isolating every objection - basically saying "if we can meet your need of this concern/objection - is there any other reason we would not have your business?"
You know when you have exhausted all the objections when you get to the prospect to utter that beautiful word that makes every sales person twitch a little - "yes!"
Now you have verified that your prospect is an authentic buyer who is deserving of your precious time and energy to compile an epic proposal that will address all of their priorities and focus on solution to each of the objections you uncovered.
If you are disciplined and stay in control of the meeting - never wavering from your commitment to refrain from offering a single solution during this discovery process - you will uncover which prospects are truly ready to buy and which are simply shopping or fishing based on saving a few bucks.
When you master this process - you will better control where you spend your most valuable commodity - your time. Once you control where you spend your time - and ensure it is invested in creating solutions that actually result in gaining new business - your close ratio will increase, your rejection rate will decrease and you will likely work less hours every week while being a top performer in your company.