Take what you can from this... and leave the rest...
Keep in mind that when your selling to someone who is familiar with internet marketing and has shopped around, the probing phase of the sales process will be a whole lot shorter because he is going to ask educated questions which means you may want to transition to the next step.
If you know anything about internet marketing you will recognize these educated questions right off the bat. But be careful, some potential clients just like to sound educated so you will not try and take advantage of them. Either way you will just have to use your judgement…
Before you start selling you need to ask questions of your prospect.
Start off with questions that will get them to talk about their business and have them tell you exactly how to sell them, you will be able to include the potential clients needs. This will help you understand the potential client’s true needs.
The stated context of probing or needs analysis has always been the same. It's...
“I need to know a little more about your business and what your needs are so that I do not waste your time with products or service that you are not a good fit.”
The underlying motive or what you are really thinking and not expressing is that you need to keep control of the sales process at this point. Keeping control of the sales process or pacing the conversation is not talked about that much, but very important.
The reason you really need to keep the pace and control is because at this point, you and your client have totally different agendas.
They want to know how much and how long does it take because they feel that is what is important. Chances are if you let people evaluate your product or service on their terms you will get nowhere. In a lot of cases they want to know “how much” so they can dismiss you.
When potential clients start to ask “bottom line” questions, many offline marketers make the mistake of counter acting the question with features and benefits of their products or services. You may get lucky every once in a while, but this is not very effective.
Really, the best way to keep control is to be the one that is asking the questions and not be the one answering them.
“How much does this cost?” asks the potential client. or…
“Well… I can’t evaluate this right now, I don’t have time.”
These are tests, they are testing to see if you are a push over, and you will pass if you say this. ”I don’t know yet let me just ask you few more questions and I will know what the best product or service is for you.”
“I promise not to waste your time _____ , just let me ask you a few questions about your company so I can give you a product and service that is going to meet your needs. One that you are going to be happy with so you and I will be doing business for a really long time.”
The underlying context, though not stated, is you maintaining control of the process. During this portion of the process it is imperative you maintain control. Though there are times you can let it go back and forth so the client doesn’t feel like he is being manipulated or “sold”. We will touch more on that later.
During this phase is where a lot of new to sales offline marketing professionals lose the client. Then they go onto forums and whine because they couldn’t close right. When in reality it wasn’t the close that they didn’t do right. It was they lost control at this step.
This is the number one reason why people will not take you seriously. So now that you are reading this. Your sales conversions as an offline marketer will hugely increase and you will stop losing money.
Then I always transition to the next phase...
“Now that I know a lot about your business, I know that we have a product and service that really makes sense for you, it’s going to lower your advertising expense, and it’s going to bring you a flood of new customers/clients at the same time. But, before I get to that, what process does your company use to make purchases?”
And in my last statement, or soft set... you see how I am qualifying to know if I am going to walk out with a check right now? I love this business.
There is so much money to be made it is unreal... what I do know is that if I don't do this FOUNDATION step in the sales process. I generally don't close the deal and then I get mad... and you see me saying I am going to go push adsense for $30 per month.
Oh... That's right... You have never heard me say that have you?