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The classic line in marketing is “people do not buy a drill, they buy a hole”. I am going to be very brave and say that from a sales perspective that is complete and utter rubbish!
People do not buy a hole and if you take time to understand a prospect’s buying motivation you will quickly discover that people buy a drill for many reasons. Why do they want a hole?
And why do they need a new drill? Why do they want one right now?
I have just got the go ahead for a big project that actually started out as a small opportunity. A company asked for some sales training and it would have been so easy to just focus on what they said they wanted
I teach that you cannot start selling until you have the facts and the first thing to know is what is motivating the enquiry. By doing a sense check and discovering what they REALLY need starts the conversation into a whole new direction and potentially new oportunities.
Asking the right questions and keeping it simple can lead to a much bigger and smoother sale.
The soft selling question is nothing earth shattering to someone skilled in consultative selling – quite basic really, as I am sure some people will be quick to say. It’s not something I invented – I was taught it when mentored early on in my own learning. Yet, if you are an accidental sales person, it may seem totally counter-intuitive.
There are many things in the world of sales that are not only simple and easy to do but also enable you to be much more effective with your selling time. One of these things is how we respond to email enquiries.
The other day I had to use my mobile phone carrier’s help line to unlock my voicemail. Fairly soon after I had finished my call I was sent some automated questions asking about my experience. On every question asked about the service I rated them 10 out of 10. Yet when asked if I would recommend them to a friend or family member based on the service I said ‘NO!’
Imagine you went into a shop and spent a lot of money buying something you later discovered was an expensive mistake. How would you feel about the sales person who sold it to you? What if the sales person just gave you what you asked for without checking?
I was having this conversation with a client today whose opinion was that every sale was a good sale. Is it not the buyers problem if they had specifically asked for the wrong product?
Email is an incredibly powerful business tool and it’s hard to remember how business used to function in the days before email took off. I don’t know about you, but I still get really excited each time I get an email enquiry.
How you respond to email enquiries, however, could make the difference between winning a new client and putting more money into your bank than normal and….err….not!
The normal way to react to an email enquiry is to send an email back. In these days of iPhones and iPads you can do it in seconds. What a waste!