By the end of this post, you will see how easy face to face selling by appointment can be, and it should ease some of your anxiety.
Here are a few ideas, to give you a basic understanding of how questions help you sell, and how to handle your F2F appointments. A quick BASIC introduction to asking questions.
These techniques have worked very well for me, and have set me up for an easy close many times, that is smooth, and executed virtually without any resistance. In short; they make selling easy.
Would love anyone else's input as well.
So let's start with some ideas...
Upon arrival at your appointment, after you say hi, compliment his office, and warm up for a minute...You are there to consult, so you show interest and concern...
Okay Bob, just to get a little back ground information...
Im assuming you dont have anyone working on your site right now, is that correct?
Okay great, and...
Let me ask, I know you have probably gotten quotes before... What has your experience been so far? Is there any particular reason you havent done this yet, if you dont mind my asking?
This kind of question does several things:
A: It gets him telling his horror story of how all the others tried to rake him over the coals, and that is something you can go on.
B: It gives you a chance to formulate a plan for how you are going to leverage those fears, and be the solution to all of those horrors
In this phase, follow along with him and agree with everything, maybe even giving your own examples of how others have had that happen, how they felt, what you did to help them, and how ridiculous it was of the other web company to do those things... Validate him. This is an excellent opportunity to create rapport.
For the most part , you are going to be saying alot of "Yeah , I understand, man I hate it when they do that...", as he tells you why he doesnt have a current website, and why he hasnt went along with any other quotes... Your validating him creates trust and a bond.
Remember, he is considering the benefits of working with you, and he wants to know that you are going to be on his side almost as much, or more, than he cares about you being a know it all.
If you dont fully disagree with the past salesman's logic, you may even say, "Well, I do understand why they do that, its because... but I dont do it quite that way because..."
In either event you are the opposite of whatever he had a problem with in the past. Allowing him to express this gives you AMAZING leverage if you handle it right.
On another note: He may not be so responsive as to talk a whole lot on this question, though most are VERY responsive, It may last five minutes, and it may last 20 seconds.
As opposed to having a big story, he may just be quick and say "Well I havent gotten around to it yet because I have so much on my plate".
Whatever it is, validate him, you understand, and thats why you always __________, and its just good that he's doing it now... (Let him know you assume he's ready now).
As he is telling his story,he is telling you how to sell him.
You are going to know why he has turned everyone else down, and you are going to know what will make him buy.
To Close on this first point:
The above initial question will warm up the meeting, and tell you what you need to know to sell this prospect, even if the answer is simply " I just havent gotten around to it".
***The point of asking this initial question is to help you to address, AHEAD OF TIME, any concern that might have been an objection in the past, and that might come up as an objection at your close.
Part of selling face to face is eliminating all the objections BEFORE you get to the close.
Now That You Have Validated Him, You Are Pals- More questions (pre objection stopper):
"Bob, just to give me an idea of what we are looking at, what is the price point of your average sale, if you dont mind my asking?
Okay thats good to know, this is already looking doable...
And, I know this is off the cuff, but if you could give me a ballpark; "How many quotes or consultations are you usually able to convert into sales on a normal basis? 1 out of three? One out of two?"
Okay that's good to know.
The above question not only tells him you have a mind for profit (without your having said it) , but was a pre objection stopper, in that it helps you ensure that price doesn't make sense to argue later.
You now know ahead of time what he needs to achieve a positive ROI , and he knows you know, and you can now address that in your close before the price objection comes up, to make sure that there is no valid price objection at the end of your pitch.
Again we are always eliminating objections BEFORE the close. This is what is meant by "ABC-Always Be Closing", if you ever wondered.
If you have established, ahead of time, that it only takes a couple of sales for him to achieve a positive ROI based on your cost, then he cant reasonably say "It costs too much" at the end of your pitch, because clearly its all profit even if he just got a few sales..., and he will already have admitted that even a few would make this worth it.
So this question is a valuable tool in helping you close a sale smoothly.
Now onto another type of question: "assumptive questions".
Bob before we get too far into this, let me ask you some questions about your design...
What are you needing your site to do, just get people to contact you about free consultations so you can quote them and sell them your service?
Great, well thats easy enough.
And , did you want an interactive contact form on your site where customers can contact you, or did you just want to list a phone number?
" did you have a logo already that you want us to use on your site, or will be needing us to create one for you"?
Any particular colors you want for your site?
Note To Warriors- Do you see how this is tying him down?
I will show you.
These are "assumptive" questions. Every time he answers one of these he further commits himself into the natural conclusion of closing at the end of the presentation, because the way you are asking is like he is already closed.
Its like he is saying little yesses, and agreeing to certain design elements... ahead of time. ("ABC")
In effect: To change his mind at the end, and suddenly say he doesnt want all these things that he said he wanted earlier, almost subconsciously makes him a liar. So these assumptive design oriented questions tie him down to the close.
It also helps you gauge where he is at emotionally throughout your pitch. The more he responds to assumptive questions, and the more he is engaged by them, the closer he is to closing...again; you are "tying him down".
Later at the end, before you close him, its like "okay you want black and red, you want a contact form, you want this, you want that... Did I leave anything out?"
Here are some more tie down questions to drive the point home:
Did you want live chat on your site also , or do you want to be more hands off and just have people fill out the forms?
Okay, what email address do you want your forms sent to...?
And again, you did say that your average sale is around $xxx correct?
Okay great, just making sure.
Now you have him in the groove of answering assumptive questions
You have tied him down several times committing him into the sale, and making him a part of the creation process of the new site...you have gotten him excited about the possibilities of people filling out contact forms... He has even told you what email address he wants them sent to!
So lets start pre-closing...
Now Bob what are going to do is this...
**Tell him what you are going to do. This is where you explain your product and what you are going to do for him.
Add your own offer details to this part (I dont know them). Remember, this is not "What we do..." it is rather "What we are going to do for you". Big difference.
You have assumed him to this point, dont stop now. Be sure and line out all of the features and benefits of what you offer.
Click here for a short lesson on that.
Now, another reminder question before quoting price:
Now, again, you said that your average point of sale is $XXX and that it usually takes three inquiries to produce a customer , so its looking like it would only take less than a sale a month to make sure you achieve a positive ROI, which is good. I like dealing with these kinds of numbers..."It's not like doing a site for a convenience store that sells three dollar items and takes a million customers per month to profit...lol". This should be pretty easy.
Frankly Bob, based on what I see here, profiting should not be an issue at all... (Paint a picture)
Now as far as price...
Most companies charge $xxxx just for the ________ alone, however, what I am going to do for you today is go ahead and just charge you $xxx for the___________ and I will go ahead and waive the cost of the________ altogether just for giving me the chance to earn your business, and because I think this is going to be an easy, no brainer project, would that help you out?
So what have here is
and we are throwing in __________ for free, so your total cost is going to come to only XXX today, and that includes 7 day per week access to our customer service department should have any concerns at any time... , fair enough?
Sounds good. Glad to have you onboard! (Keep assuming).
Oh BTW, I forgot to mention, you also get a hundred dollars worth of free google pay per click advertising to get you started receiving visitors immediately, so there's another bonus!
Now re assure, and comfort him before you ask for billing info.
Now Bob, you have my number if any concerns or questions arise between now and then..., let me give you my email address too, in case you want to shoot me an email instead. thats going to be...
Got it? Okay good.
After our meeting today, once I get back to the office, I am going to go ahead process your order to get your project started, and send you an email to recap and let you know the status of your site. Whats a good email address to send that to?
Okay, great. You should be getting that within a couple of hours after our meeting here.
Now close him:
Now as far as billing is concerned...we usually prefer to do business by checks, but I can take a visa or mastercard card as well, which one of those is going to work best for you today?
(Now Be Quiet and wait for him to dig it out).
Let him hand you a check, and BAMM, you have a sale!
You can make up your own questions, fill in the blanks with your own offer details and prices, you may not ask them in this order...but this is a good example of how questions can sell, and I just wanted to put it here to give people some ideas to work with.
Asking good questions cuts out half your work of selling, and gets the customer selling themselves, so it winds up in a smooth transition to closing, with fewer, if any, objections. If done right, using proper questioning, closing is the natural conclusion to the meeting and not a hard core head butting contest..
Questions can paint pictures, act as pre objection stoppers, give you information about what the guys hot buttons are, help you look interested and concerned for his needs, attentive... tie the prospect down to where he has practically agreed way before the close...they are the perfect way to sell.
If you are bold enough to be assumptive, you will be shocked to know that most prospects will never question you , they will just answer over and over, and tie themselves down further and further throughout your pitch, where they would almost make themselves a liar to back out at the end, and closing seems like the natural next step.
Hope this helps someone.