5 Steps to Simplify the Solution and Seal the Deal

November 27, 2015
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Here are five steps to make it easy for prospects to buy your product or service.

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Know thy customer.  Instead of rattling off all of your product’s or services’ bells and whistles, pare down the perks that pertain to the prospect’s situation.  Dale Carnegie’s 8th Human Relations principle is to, ‘Talk in terms of the other person’s interests.’  Taking a few extra minutes to research your prospect and the organization’s industry will enable you to better understand and meet their exact needs.  This is easily accomplished by perusing LinkedIn, social media, industry-specific publications and forums.

Question to qualify.  Asking questions about prospects’ current solution vs. their ideal solution enables you to identify the salient attributes of your solution worth focusing on during your pitch.  As a result, the prospect reflects on his or her current circumstances and can better envision how your solution would improve them.  Dale Carnegie’s 15th principle is to, ‘Let the other person do a great deal of the talking.’  Asking questions and actively listening to the answers not only enables you to hone in on what matters most, but also demonstrates your respect and genuine concern for the prospect.

Procure buying center’s buy-in.  It is common for groups of people from different functional areas of organizations, or ‘buying centers’, to make joint purchasing decisions.  CEB recently surveyed more than 5,000 stakeholders involved in B2B purchases and found that the average buying group size is 5.4 members1.  Many sales representatives realize that they have skipped this critical step when it’s too late.  Understanding the function and composition of buying centers will help you position your product or solution to ensure you address these critical stakeholders’ needs.  This step also helps forge strong relationships which is a critical key to all suppliers’ success.

Respond rapidly.  The more members that compose a buying group, the more questions you will have to answer.  Instead of making them wait around all day for a response to their email, respond as quickly as you possibly can.  Even if you do not have the answer readily available, at least acknowledge their question and set expectations in terms of how long it will take for you to gather the information required to respond correctly.  Instead of the prospect becoming frustrated due to a delayed response, he or she will appreciate your due diligence.

Keep it simple.  Think of the buying process from the prospect’s perspective as a dress rehearsal.  Dale Carnegie’s 17th Human Relations principle is to, ‘Try honestly to see things from the other person’s point of view.’  If the pre-purchase process is challenging for the prospect, e.g. it’s difficult to reach you; scheduling conflicts; lack of info, etc. he or she may hesitate to buy for fear that the post-sale experience will likewise be challenging.  Demonstrating flexibility and responsiveness during the pre-sale process enables the prospect to feel confident that the post-sale process or the servicing of the solution will be just as smooth.

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