Find Your Opportunity To Grow
The biggest mistake inexperienced salespeople make is when they waste valuable time dealing with non-prospects. Prospect planning is the foundation of your business. Even if you are an expert at needs assessment, designing perfect solutions, presenting, and closing, you will never reap the rewards of more sales unless you have a critical mass of prospects.
What is a Prospect?
Prospects are not companies. Prospects are people. In today’s business world, where decisionmaking is often team-based, you may need to sell to multiple prospects to sell the business.
Who do prospects include?
- Gatekeepers: People who have no buying authority but who control access to those that do.
- Information Providers: People who gather information for decision makers or who can provide critical information for you.
- Influencers: People who have access to the buying authority and can influence their decision.
- Decision Makers: People who can make the decision to buy.
- Buyers: People who have the financial authority to buy.
Unless the people you’re talking with are gatekeepers, information providers, influencers, decision makers, or buyers, you are wasting your time.
Asking key questions to determine if people in your target companies are prospects is called qualifying. A name is only a suspect, not a prospect. Selling is about moving from suspect to prospect to customer.
The key questions to ask to determine if you have a prospect:
Is there a business need?
Does your prospect recognize and agree that there is a need?
Can your prospect make the buying decision or influence it?
Can you meet the need?
Can you meet the prospective customer’s requirements?
Can you make an acceptable profit?
Is there opportunity for a long-term relationship?
Is the timing, right?
Is your product and service competitive or superior?
Will this account provide credibility for future sales with other customers?
Is the cost acceptable?
Is there risk of an inability to meet customer requirements?
The Mindshift to secure a prospect
Client-driven companies consistently outperform the competition. The same is true for sales professionals. The mind shift change is not an easy task for companies or individuals. It means shifting the focus from your agenda to the customer’s agenda. It means adjusting to fit your customer’s needs and wants rather than your wants and needs. If you are to build a solid business relationship where the customer trusts you and values your advice, center on the customer rather than yourself or on your company. The customer will not trust you if you do not understand and respect his/her wants and needs.
Turning rejection into a prospect
Objections signal interest and involvement. Prospects that have blown you off don’t raise objections or concerns. Objections are a natural part of the sales process. Many salespeople fear objections and become defensive. Objections should be viewed as an opportunity to advance the sale. You can often use an objection as an opportunity to educate the customer. Objections are to be expected. Resolving concerns builds the relationship and moves you toward successfully closing the sale.
Top performing salespeople make a habit of being at the right place, at the right time, with the right answer. Poor performers waste their most valuable asset, their time, trying to turn impossible situations into sales.
Feel free to contact me with any questions, comments or to strategize your
Transformation plan at [email protected].
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