There’s a theme developing over the last few episodes of Gap Sell Keenan.
There’s a lot of telling and not a lot of asking. What separates a good selling from the average? The really good salesperson has the ability to influence the sale. You can’t be an influencer by regurgitating the facts and figures about your industry and why your product is necessary to the buyer.
Me, Me, Me: The Conversation Killer
We’ve all been in this scenario. You’re at a party, you’ve met someone new, and all they do is go on and on about them, how great they are, how successful they are, how great their kids are. This person sucks. Everyone avoids this person. I’ll peak through a window to see where this person is before I go into a house party. Why would this be any different from a salesperson? As humans we’re naturally inclined to want to talk about ourselves, which makes the person who asks questions the most enjoyable person to talk to.
Don’t Be a Product Parrot
Being a salesperson isn’t about being a product feature parrot. If your approach is designed to shove the features, figures, and facts about your product down the prospect’s throat, why not just send them the PowerPoint and call it a day. Your job is to ask and then understand where they are and then articulate the value you can bring to their business.
The Secret to Good Selling
True selling involves asking, learning, and listening. Engage your customers in a way that encourages them to explain what is important to them, why it’s important to them, what they need, what they want, and what obstacles are keeping them from this. Reflect on your sales communications. Are you engaging with customers in hopes that they’ll ask more about you? Or in a way that they feel invited to share more about their business?
Understanding Buyer Motivation
When you enter into a sale, it’s highly unlikely that you know why the buyer is motivated to buy or make a change. Getting to this motivation can be tricky. Buyers may not be consciously aware of their motivations or haven’t given it a lot of thought. Your ability to understand and influence these motivations is critical to become a better salesperson.
The Why Behind Change
Take the time to figure out what is motivating your buyers. What do they want to happen? What’s their vision for the future? Why do they want this vision to come to life? What’s motivating them to embrace this change?
Change doesn’t happen without a desire to change and that desire requires some sort of motivation to change. Your product features are NOT a motivation to change.
Sales Focus Shift
The shift from telling to asking is a fundamental change that needs to happen in sales. Recognize that clients do not buy features and specifications, they buy solutions to their problems and outcomes. Becoming a top salesperson requires the mastery of asking and listening. Engage clients in a way that encourages them to share their motivations and challenges. Be their guide, leave the PowerPoint filled with technical details at home.