Posted by Patricia Jones
Here you go: Your first meeting with the client and you are set off to a good start.
You talk about their business, understand the problems they face and identify the areas that your product can help them with. You put forth the features of your product; discuss what you can do and they seem pleased. You leave the meeting contended. It feels like you’ve hit the bull’s eye!
Then nothing happens.
Despite a pleasing conversation and a compelling proposal, they don’t revert. When you contact them, they give a possible excuse of changed priorities; tight budgets and future association.
If it does, you’re not alone. Many sales reps face the same situation worldwide. In spite of good lead management tactics, they fail to make the conversion.
To prevent facing this plight in the future, follow three sales lessons mentioned below.
So you’ve impressed the client and they’re enthusiastic to buy the CRM software. You’ve shared new insights and they’ve developed complete trust in your product. In short, they’re sold.
In spite of all these positive developments, you fail to make a conversion. What could possibly go wrong?
Focus on the wrong set of people.
Often the person you speak to is not the real buyer. He is either the contact person of the company or someone most interested in solving the problem. While they might be convinced to invest in the product/service, they can fail to convince the decision-holders of their company.
Laura Fagan states – ‘’these days, you cannot expect one buyer for very large purchases. Often it’s a group of people who influence the decision directly/indirectly. If you don’t know the actual buyers, you’re “selling blind’’. Your chances of winning are slim.’’
As a result, figure out the decision-makers in the organization. Make sure you’ve got them “covered” by meeting them face to face.
Tip: Enquire the client about the buying process during any of the sales meetings. In this way, you can come to know who will be actually involved in the buying decision. Also once you are aware of the decision-makers, you can make an informed decision on how to go about the sale.
Today, the clients come to the table exactly knowing what kind of solution they want. Although, they may not be an expert but they do their research on the web. Hence, do not waste your time telling them what they already know.
For instance, explaining a client about the benefits of salesforce automation; who has already made up his mind to invest in a SFA module will be a sheer waste of time.
Laura Fagan states – ‘’if all what you do is tell the client that they need the solution they already think they want – then you’re a commodity.’’
After all, every service provider tells them the same thing – they’ll meet their needs and provide the solution they’re looking for.
Thus, if you talk about how great your product is; your brilliant testimonials and feedback; your USPs and differentiators; chances are that the client will not be interested. They can bracket you in the same category of sellers who are more self-boasting and less valuable.
So how can you escape that?
Bring new insights to the table. You need to change their perception about business growth strategies. And to do this, you’ve got to dig deeper than just understanding their business needs. If you can highlight problems or opportunities they didn’t know they had; nothing like it.
Remember, your overall aim should be to come up with different, better solutions than the ones clients already know. In this way, clients will see you as someone who can actually add value to their business. You will set yourself apart from the competitors in a meaningful way.
Note: Following this tactic can be challenging in the beginning. Make sure you do your homework thoroughly. Use the CRM to gain information about them. Study about their business and its related product/service offerings.
Imagine: You meet with the client. Ask him about their problems. They mention a few challenges and boom – your problem solving skills kick in. You identify the root cause of their issues. They get excited as you have got the perfect solution. They get interested and really want to proceed.
But then it all boils down to how much? (Price)
You tell them the cost of the product and for some reason it all falls apart.
This is the most common blunder sales reps do i.e. to jump to solutions before the client realizes:
Understand that your clients might not see a business problem in the same light as you do. So what could be a huge sales process glitch in your view might just be a small area of improvement for them.
And this is precisely why; your reasonable product cost looks huge to them. Result: After much gnashing of teeth and knotting of brows – they fix it themselves, or choose a cheaper alternative.
Do not kick in your problem-solving skills to early. Before you propose the solution, work with the client to make him understand the impact of the business problem/opportunity. They should exactly know the knock-on and contingent impacts of the problem.
Put examples to help them see the impact themselves. Then only can you make clients believe in your product/service and they can be willing to bear the cost.
Patricia is a full time CRM consultant at ConvergeHub and part-time blogger. She has earned herself quite a fame as a specialist and market expert in CRM software. In the last five year she has worked with various companies as CRM consultant to help them move their businesses to cloud. Her expertise lies in offering cloud CRM consultation, CRM customization and integration solutions to small enterprises. For last one she is engaged in building ConvergeHub, cloud-based CRM solution for SMBs, as a consultant.Follow her at Twitter: @convergehub