This week I will look at what some consider the most critical phase of the sales process – asking for the business.
In a well planned presentation this should be the easiest phase however for the majority of salespeople this in fact is the scariest part.
Statistics consistently show that in 62% of presentations the salesperson does not ask for the business. There is an old saying – “If you don’t ask of the business then you are working for the opposition!”
You research the company, gain a referral, get the appointment, do your presentation, uncover a real need, create the awareness of the problem – but then you don’t ask for the business. You then sit there waiting for the buyer to say they are just dying to get their hands on your solution – in reality you can wait forever with some buyers.
The next salesperson that visits your prospect, who now is fully aware of their needs and is ready to buy and indeed does – gets the business!
Human behavioral studies have revealed we are 5 times more likely to say yes if we are asked so why wouldn’t we ask?
When it comes to confirming the business you as the seller should know exactly which way the buyer is leaning in their decision to buy.
The reason so many salespeople have such a problem with asking for the business is they have no sales process to help understand firstly the needs of the buyer and next the importance of those needs.
What we tend to see in most presentations is what I call ‘show & tell”. We show up, introduce ourselves, engage in some chitchat and then proceed to tell the buyer everything about ourselves and our company. We then ask a few questions and identify some potential needs and launch into the solution phase of the presentation by telling the buyer what he or she needs and all the benefits they will derive from buying this solution.
Because we do most of the talking there is little opportunity for the buyer to draw any conclusions and express any positive buying signals and in fact it gives them more opportunities to raise objections.
Objections generally are raised in the sales process when the seller makes statement the buyer disagrees with or when solutions are presented before the real need is uncovered.
There are a number of questions that need to be answered in the buyers mind before they make the buying decision. These are –
1. Exactly what are you offering?
2. Why do I need (or want) it?
3. How can I believe your claims?
4. Why should I get if from you?
5. How fast can I get it?
6. What if I don’t like it after I get it?
7. What do I need to do to get it?
The buyers may not consciously think of these questions but they will not buy until all seven are answered in their minds. It is important to note that the sale is made in the buyers mind before we ask for confirmation of the business.
As usual I will be continuing with the topic of asking for the business in my next article.
Quote of the Week:
In the words of the famous Zig Ziglar
“You miss 100% of the sales you don’t ask for”
Have a successful week!
Brett Burgess is a Sales Trainer and Programme Developer for Moss and Associates International.