By Charles Alvarez , Contributor, the Price of Business Show. * Sponsored
The sad truth today is that most sales professionals are nothing more than glorified order takers. In other words, most sales people believe that the true value they provide their clients is the product they are trying to sell. Great sales professionals and great sales processes put the value on the process of delivering value to their customer.
The main reason many businesses are being held back today is because they do not institute or enforce a company wide sales process. When my family and I go to McDonalds (not the best burgers but my four kids really like it), it is the same process every time. McDonalds has implemented a process to where they can take ANY 16 year old teenage boy or girl and have them upsell their customers every day.
The best sales organizations have broken down their sales process into three distinct categories: discovery, recommendation, and next steps. The best sales processes position their sales team more as consultants that are leading the prospect to a solution instead of one that pushes their company’s product down their prospects throat. When an Apple product consumer goes into an Apple store, the consumer gets a first hand experience of what is called the consultative sales process: discovery, recommendation, and next steps.
During the discovery phase, the sales professional asks a question that uncovers what the prospect or customer is looking to achieve in their life. In other words, the Apple consultant’s job is to understand what the customer is looking to achieve by asking a very simple question: what are you looking to accomplish? Then, the sales professional does something very revolutionary in the sales profession: they LISTENED!
Great sales people listen actively to what their prospect is telling them. It has been said that God gave us two ears and one mouth for a reason. Once we take the time to understand what the customer is looking to achieve, the better we can serve them in helping them achieve their intended end. The greatest sales people in the world ask questions. As Brian Tracy says, “selling is not telling, it’s asking questions.”
Once we understand what our client wants to achieve, it is up to the sales consultant to provide a suitable recommendation to the customer based on the answers they gave during the discovery phase. Selling can be a very easy profession. First find out what the customer wants and then present them with options on how to achieve what they want to accomplish.
What I loved about the experience I had with Apple is that they gave me three options on how to achieve what I was looking to accomplish. By giving me options, they put me in control of determining what I thought was best in accomplishing my goal.
The last book I read on sales had 17 different ways to ask for the business. Can you believe that? I mean, really, 17 different ways to ask for the business. In my years of practice selling sophisticated services to CEOs and business leaders, I have come to the realization that the best close in the world comes back to a question. This question is so profound and so simple that it works every time. Here is the question – how would you like to proceed?
When I was at the Apple store, this is the exact question they asked me. They simply asked me how I would like to proceed with the three solutions they presented to me at the Apple store.
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