It’s the end of the year and you have several customers straddling the fence on committing to buy. You know that the good ole end of year “only” discount strategy can certainly be approved, but is there a better approach? Does the customer truly see the value in your solution?
And, what do you think will convince them to act?
These are the questions every salesperson faces as the clock winds down to the end of the revenue period. It’s your responsibility – as the seller – to bring home the order. What else might you do in place of the end of the year “hail Mary discount?”
By this phase in the sales process, you should know the problem they are trying to solve. But do they – in their gut – feel the realness of the problem and do they see the consequences of no action? This is the time to quantify for them the impact of no action!
Use your prior experience and success stories to help them through the decision to buy. Use some of the critical questions we’ve discussed here before. In particular, there are two types of questions that can really help them wake up that something needs to be done now, not later.
I believe in the SPIN Selling model by Neil Rackham. The model addresses the four types of questions salespeople need to ask. Situation – Problem – Implication – Need/Payoff.
Focusing on the last two, the Implication and Need/Payoff questions can build the sense of urgency needed for the customer to act. Let’s take a look.
- Implication questions create a sense of urgency by showing the customer how serious the problem really is.
- For instance, if your warehouse is struggling to fill orders, one implication question could be: how does this impact customer loyalty? How does that impact your market share? How do these numbers affect your bottom line?
- These IMPLICATION questions can open the customers eyes, but they still might not be enough to motivate them.
- The Need/Payoff question develops the desire for the solution by showing the customer the benefits you deliver.
- It’s the easiest question to ask, but with a great payoff. Ask, “What do you see as the main benefits of our solution?”. Their response has them stating the benefits of your solutions, which is exponentially better than you telling them the benefits.
- Since we retain 20% of what we hear, but 70% of what we say, their retention level goes up dramatically. They convince themselves it’s time to act. They create their own urgency.
- These NEED/PAYOFF questions will usually help move the sale along, assuming there’s a match between their need and your solution.
Remember though, personality styles always play a role.
If they have a Blue or Green personality, they are not wired for urgency. They are more intuitive and will take their time to consider the need, your solution and what makes sense to them.
Without being pushy, ask them for next steps.
If they have a Gold or Orange personality, they are very bottom line oriented and more impatient by nature, leading them to move to a decision much faster. They are more likely to feel the sense of urgency you’ve worked for.
The bottom line is, put yourself in your client’s shoes. Think about their Personality Style and adjust accordingly.
©2020 Stu Schlackman