For many organizations, sales are at the heart of success. Sales growth helps to increase profitability, build financial strength, and provide career development opportunities for top talent.
This is why smart companies ensure their sales force has the skills, tools and motivation to succeed.
To help improve your chances of success, here are five components of every successful sales conversation to help you and customers succeed.
1. Have Clear Two-Way Communication
All parties in a communication have two roles; being the speaker as well as the listener. So, in order to present a compelling and relevant solution, you first need to listen to the goals, problems and requirements of your client.
Jumping right in and presenting your solution before understanding their unique situation is akin to sales malpractice. Clear two-way communication requires that your sales force has the skills to fully listen with all senses, concentrate on what is being said and truly understand what matters most to your client and why.
2. Ask Open-Ended Questions
Open-ended questions do not bind your sales prospects to simple “Yes or No” answers. Instead, it allows them to answer the question in more subjective terms and creates a more open dialogue that allows you to better understand what matters most and if your solution is a good fit.
Instead of asking a closed-ended question like, “Is the product/service working fine?” you could ask, “What issues are you facing regarding the product/service?” This will give you a clear insight into the thought process of the individual, allowing you to clearly identify the problem and present a relevant solution to help your client succeed. Done right, asking effective questions shows your empathy, understanding and expertise while differentiating you from your competition.
3. Customize the Exact Solution to Meet their Unique Need
Another reason solution selling training teaches the importance of asking open ended questions is because not every client has the same problems, situations or circumstances. Therefore, their unique problems cannot be solved with the exact same solution.
Successful sales reps do not present generic solutions. They extensively question clients to get an in-depth understanding of the macro and micro problems so they can provide the exact solution to meet their needs.
4. Be Authentic and Honest
If you have not heard this in a solution selling training session, know that authenticity and honesty can make or break not only a potential deal, but your sales career. Relationships and results and built upon trust.
If, after asking effective questions, the solution you are offering might not be the best for your client, tell them so. Put the client first. Do not make false promises. Share your concerns and recommend an alternative course of action. This is not only the right thing to do, but it will also engender trust and perhaps open the door for other or future opportunities or referrals.
5. Playback What You Hear
To show your prospective client that you have been listening and to make sure that both of you are on the same page, show your understanding either in the form of visual cues, such as nodding in approval, or by verbally voicing it, such as “ok” or “got it”.
Additionally, use it in combination with probing questions to recap what the client has said and confirm your understanding. When you playback what you have heard, share not only the ‘words’ but the ‘music” that you have heard between the words to make sure you capture the salient nuances of what is being said.