Want to Be More Influential? Steal Your Customer’s Glasses.
“A prudent question is one half of wisdom.” – Francis Bacon
How much easier would selling be if you could really see things through your customer’s eyes? Here’s how the pros do exactly that. It’s a process called value profiling and, like many effective techniques, it is not complicated (most salespeople just don’t know it or don’t do it).
SKILL TARGET: Find out what your customer wants, and emphasize those features and benefits which meet their criteria.
It sounds simple, but the steps in the process are critical:
PRIORITY ONE: Develop in advance the questions you intend to ask.
PRIORITY TWO: Include the following:
- A Consent Statement: Launch right in to “20 Questions” and you risk putting your prospect on the defensive. Plus, you sound like every other “consultative salesperson” out there. Instead, preface your probe with a permission or consent statement: “In order to develop a proposal that best meets the your needs, I’d like to ask a few questions. It’s time well spent, because then I can zero right in on things that are most important to you. Is that okay?”
- A General Question: “What criteria do you consider most important when purchasing something like this?”
- The Value Profile: “Which is more important, price or total value?” “Is service a critical issue?” “Do you prefer standard widgets, or custom order?” “How relevant is delivery time?”
TRY THIS: List at least five specific “value” questions you can ask on your next sales call.
Armed with this information, you can develop a highly effective presentation that says to your prospect, “Here’s what you said you wanted.” Then give your customer back their glasses.