How many sales people would love to hear their customer utter those words? I recently attended Mike Schmidtmann’s webinar, “How to Create Customer Urgency.” In this webinar, Mike pointed out that the sales cycle is taking longer. This makes sense. Customers are researching more and dragging out the process. So how can a sales person shorten that sales process?
One of the things I really like about Mike’s webinars is he presents them in a very common sense way (and with a sense of humor). He breaks down selling a solution into two main components – selling the What and the How. The “What” is the solution or the promise. The “How” is the service delivery.
Too many times we focus on the “How” – we will deliver Widget on this date and install it this way. But does the “How” really solve the customer’s problem? No. The customer doesn’t care how it will be done – he cares about what he’s going to gain from the solution. Too many times we get caught up in the question, “How are you going to solve my problem?” The real question to consider is, “What is the answer to my problem and what benefits will I gain?”
What are you going to do for me today?
A sales person must focus on the pain and the problem the customer has. And not only the problem the customer states. Mike calls this “unconsidered needs.” This is the “I don’t know what I don’t know” scenario. It is your job to educate your customer on the long-term issues – not just the one he has today. And this is how you create urgency.
By focusing on all the problems (and not only the one the customer believes he has) you can build better business case for your solution from the very beginning of the conversation. By focusing on the business outcomes and benefits gained from your solution right away, you are planting the seeds of purchasing from the very start.
IF is a Big Word
Mike closed this webinar with what he called “The Power of IF.” It’s very simple and can be used all along the sales process. By simply asking, “If I can do X, will you buy?” early on, you are getting the wheels turning. By wrapping it around an event (such as a special rate expiration or end of month) you can create even more urgency. Combine that with always setting the next appointment or meeting and you are well on your way to closing the sale.
So how can you shorten the sales process? Focus on the “What” – the business outcomes and problems you are solving for your customer. For ideas on how to do this, check out Mike’s blog post “How to Create Winning Proposals” on our website or view the webinar “Proposals that Win – Turn a Tool into a Weapon” co-hosted by Mike Schmidtmann and Don Barrett, CorsPro Vice President of Sales and Marketing.
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