The Sales Professional
Monday Morning Business Gem
Few people would select their heart surgeon based on lowest price. People know that heart surgery requires the highest level of expertise and their lives depend on the outcome.
Make no mistake, when the heart surgeon is providing his or her diagnosis and detailing the most effective course of action, he or she is selling. Selling is not a four letter word; it is, at its best, a collaborative, consultative, educational process that is focused on meeting the concerns and ambitions of the prospect.
This is the arena of the "Sales Professional".
As a society, we grant 'professional status' to certain specialties, like doctors or surgeons. For the rest of us, we must earn it. We do not have the authority to grant professional status to ourselves; only our clients and prospects have that authority.
The more expensive the product and the more complex the process, the greater is the need and the opportunity to position oneself as a professional.
Here are a few strategies I use with my coaching clients to position them as professionals in the eyes of their prospects.
Avoid selling into a vacuum:
Engaging in sales conversation without a clear understanding of your prospects concerns, fears, ambitions and dreams is guess work. You may get lucky and nail a client's key concern or ambition, but you can't predictably build a business on luck.
Instead, invest the necessary time in the discovery phase.
Before you tell them what you do and how much it will cost, ask probing questions that will uncover the prospect's wants and needs.
Do not rush this phase of the sales conversation. Understanding their concerns and ambitions will enable you to describe your process and your product and illustrate exactly how it will benefit the client and help them avoid future problems.
Don't shy away from problems:
There may be problems to which your prospects are blind. Rather than shy away from these potential breakdowns, the professional salesperson addresses them up front.
Your clients "don't know what they don't know" and it is up to the sales professional to educate and illuminate potential issues that will surface along the way. Problems are brought forward and addressed by the Sales Professional along with possible solutions that open new possibilities for the client to attain their ambition and avoid their concerns.
Never make empty claims:
Empty claims will undermine your credibility and have you showing up like every other salesman.
For example…Avoid saying you have a great team. Tell them facts instead. “We have a team that has been working together for better than ten years and have delivered innumerable houses as complex as yours.” These are facts that can be backed up…not claims that you are making.
Using strategies such as these have helped increase clients closing ratio, shortened the sales process and enabled them to charge more for their services. Of equal import, it provides my clients with a sense of pride, dignity and personal respect for the work they do and the contribution they provide.
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Copyright 2012 by Dennis DuRoff. All rights reserved.
Monday Morning Business Gems (tm)
Universal Business Design, LLC | 2737 53rd Ave SW | Seattle, WA 98116
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