Related: The psychology behind better sales
In a sales situation or a negotiation of any kind, it’s essential to have a clear outcome in mind – as well as a Plan B (and C).
1. Prepare all your questions
Before you hit that meeting, brainstorm and prepare all of your questions. For each question you come up with, write out all the possible outcomes and integrate them into your pitch. Create a flowchart outlining all of the ways the conversation might go. A major part of being confident when selling just comes down to being extremely well prepared.
2. Start strong
Before you go into your meeting, take a few deep breaths, calm yourself down, then go for it – head up, good eye contact, friendly yet authoritative manner. If you can, ask questions early or demonstrate by listening that you are incredibly interested. Take notes, and do so often.
3. Use metaphors
Now, this is where your pre-planning really comes in. By rehearsing every possible outcome of your meeting, you’ll know your script backwards. As a result, you’ll be able to use metaphors and analogies to better explain your points. By doing this, you’ll be speaking in clear visualisations that help your contact fully understand what you’re saying. Remember – visualisation is realisation!
4. Identify their drivers
Everyone has a need – it’s just that many don’t know it yet.
Through effective questioning and listening, you should be able to quickly discover your contact’s needs. Then, highlight them with these two questions:
1. “What would happen if you didn’t replace/fix/address this need?”
2. “What would happen if you did replace/fix/address this need?”
By getting your contact really thinking about both consequences, you are directing their focus entirely on their need, as well as their desire to fulfil it.
5. The ‘Sales Commando’ closing circle
It goes without saying that you must always close the sale. But how do you know when to close?
The Sales Commando Closing Circle is a technique you should employ when you’ve decided that you’ve done all the selling you could. When you reach this point, round up all the highlights of your conversation, and attempt to gain a positive response for each. When you’ve done this, you can ask for their business.
In this example, your contact is Joanne and you’re selling software:
YOU: So Joanne, we found your current system isn’t providing what you need?
YOU: You told me about the extra workload that’s being created by not taking care of this?
YOU: You don’t have any concerns about the product and service my company can provide?
YOU: And you’re happy to deal with me as your contact?
YOU: Then I’ll just need a couple of signatures here and here.
If you identify doubt at any point during this process, this technique will enable you to ask your contact exactly what the problem is, address it and segway back into the close.