In her book Conversations that Sell, Nancy Bleeke presents her techniques for having sales conversations that focus on added value for your customer, and not on the characteristics of your product or service.
Good sellers know that to sell their products, they have to work closely with their customers and have two-way conversations.
This means talking less and working more together to find solutions that work for both sides.
Table of Contents
1. Show your strengths and advantages
Buyers are no longer just looking to be told about a product and its features.
They want to hear about positive and lasting changes for their companies, and especially someone who understands their priorities. They don’t want sellers. They need differentiators.
So what makes a good differentiator? Three things:
- Transparency and
By making sure you understand your client’s situation completely. Gather as much information as possible not just before interacting, but throughout the conversation.
Don’t see yourself as a salesperson trying to make a sale, but as a person who guides the process, helps your customer overcome obstacles, and points out opportunities – to be open and trustworthy!
This, in turn, will allow you to build a valuable relationship with your customer, which is vital to a successful sales process. To further strengthen this relationship, let your personality and strengths shine.
2. Collaborate with your clients.
These days sales strategies are about developing a custom solution to achieve a perfect result.
This is what is called collaborative selling, and the first step is to understand a situation from all angles.
A great way to do this is to change the language. Most sellers talk about problems, which are often approached using formula solutions. But by expanding your vocabulary to include discussion of opportunities and what customers want and need, you can better tailor your solutions to the context of the business.
3. Prepare carefully.
Gather all the information to create a fact sheet. Important company details include its size, its industry, its business reports, and its philosophy. He then digs a little deeper and asks what issues they’re currently dealing with. Any quarterly bad results or management changes?
Then consider who you are going to talk to. Discover their work style and even their personality type to adapt your presentation and your questions. The book states that there is no method that falls short. From using scientific frameworks to understand personality, like Myer-Briggs, to less conventional methods like horoscopes if your client believes in these currents.
Finally, outline the main facts about the problem for which you have been hired, your solution, and any possible questions you anticipate that may arise in the conversation.
4. Start a conversation correctly.
Whether you’re on the phone, face-to-face, or speaking at a conference, there are three things to consider.
- Introduce yourself,
- Explain why you contacted someone,
- And the topic you would like to talk about.
There is no need for you to immediately start promoting your services. Better, mention a reference or any problem that is important to the customer.
Only then should you use one or two sentences to explain why your product or service could improve their situation. Perhaps you could say that another client reduced their production costs by 15% using your product.
At the end get to the point as fast as possible using connection questions. Connection questions should engage the buyer personally and refer to a relevant issue, for example, “I found that you have been working with multiple suppliers for the past ten years. What, in your opinion, are the best approaches to dealing with? the problems related to X? ”
5. Get the information you need
Now you have to sustain the conversation by asking the right questions. What are the ones you should and should not do?
Never ask something you already know or should know. This looks quite unprofessional and will make the client suspicious.
Replace closed questions with open questions. These are questions that refer to emotions, motivations, and perceptions of problems.
Make sure that your questions cover the following four areas: the current situation, the future situation, the risks and the opportunities that the company faces.
As the conversation draws to a close, it’s time to go into all the details: how the decision-making process will work, who will be involved, the budget and the schedule. This will make you and your client aware of what to prepare for before the next meeting.
6. When you present your solution, focus on the buyer
The buyer is not interested in the details of your products, but in what you can do for their company. So help him see it, starting from the way you structure your sentences. For example, “Our repair service offers a 24-hour replacement, you can be assured that you will not experience any delay in production.”
You can also make sure your buyers connect with your product by providing stories about how the product benefited other customers, or by making things practical by providing prototypes they can see and touch.
However, objections may and will arise, so anticipate what they might be and try to address them as soon as possible to keep the conversation going.
7. Close the conversation productively
Make sure that everything you have discussed with your client is 100% clear. As the conclusion of the conversation, summarize each problem and the idea that you have developed together, highlight the prosperous future ahead and ask if there is any detail or link that has not been mentioned.
It’s always better to clear something up than to find out in the end that the deal won’t work because of a misunderstanding. For example, if you are concerned about high implementation costs, please provide specific numbers in advance.
Remember, your goal in every contact should be to get a decision or at least some commitment to something. So, after clarifying everything, go ahead and ask for a decision. You and your buyer must have developed a trustworthy relationship at this point so that any matter can be dealt with openly.
Finally, close the conversation as the partners would. There is no need for slavish language here, so don’t stress that you are honored or delighted. Simply reiterate your commitment to the process. This will strengthen trust in your relationship even more.
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