How were your business sales last year? If you are a business owner or sales professional and your sales are dragging, consider what questions you are asking. More important, have you perfected the “pause” while listening.
Yes, silence is deadly in sales, just like standing on a stage delivering a presentation to a large audience. Being silent and pausing is very difficult. If you can perfect it, sales results will increase and client engagement will accelerate.
When I meet with business owner clients struggling with sales, I always start at the questions they are asking to their prospects. Many spend too much time with “small” talk and never uncover if there is a real need or are they just hearing what they want to hear. Consider writing out a series of questions and statements prior to your meeting. Of course, research the company and specific people you are meeting. It’s amazing how many forget this valuable step, which is simple today with Google.
Consider adding a few questions and statements to your typical new prospect call or meeting.
- Mention something you found out about them before meeting – articles, etc.
- Understand their situation through a simple diagnosis of questions.
- What are their top 3 problems/challenges?
- What do they want to achieve?
- How much time will be saved if they decide to work with you?
- How much will they make and save by working with you?
- How much emotional anxiety will they overcome with working with you?
- How can you increase their bottom line by working with you?
- How would things be different in their business if they worked with you?
- How are the challenges in their business affecting other areas of their business?
Then after your list of questions, just summarize their 3 biggest challenges (repeat them aloud) and then remain SILENT. It’s difficult to do for most, but silence is a trait of the very best sales professionals and entrepreneurs.
After the prospect asks you how it works to engage your firm, move toward giving them information on how you might be able to assist with solving their problems. It’s important to state specifically what you do and the RESULTS they will receive from working with you. Keep it simple and don’t over talk through all kinds of features and benefits of your product or service.
Always focus on OUTCOME and RESULTS. I suggest using this simple line as it works, “If we decide to work together, then the next step is…” Provide the prospect with a short timeline addressing their goals.
Always leave a meeting with a next step, (good and bad). If they are a good prospect, have a date on the calendar before leaving your meeting or call. Never leave a meeting with “I will get back to you” (from either party).
Being silent and asking clear questions will help with determining opportunities with future engagements. Remember everything in business begins with a SALE. If you are struggling, feel free to email me and maybe I can offer some suggestions to end your year strong!