One of the many things I’ve learned from decades of sales experience is that salespeople are too focused on “selling.” They are typically set on meeting sales quotes and getting that next big bonus check. But they usually forget about how prospects can be salespeople, too.
Prospects will sell you if you let them.
Letting prospects sell you isn’t easy, especially when you’re in the habit of “selling” to them, but there are a couple of big concepts you should follow to guide you in the right direction.
Educate instead of sell
Until you make it easier on yourself, selling is hard. In fact, here’s a pro tip from someone who’s been “selling” for several decades: Stop selling! Nobody likes to be sold to. We instead prefer to buy. But before we buy, we need to find value in what we’re being “sold.” Helping prospects find value in what we’re selling is at the core of what we as salespeople do.
We don’t ask questions to simply ask questions. We ask questions to not only move prospects along the sales process but also to understand and educate them along the way. By asking the right questions, we learn more about a prospect’s business. When we do this successfully, we figure out how our products and services can solve the prospect’s problem.
Remember: You close more deals when you’re curious. Take the time to learn as much about your prospects as possible, and their business challenges, and add value — so instead of selling, seek to educate.
Uncover the real business decision your prospects must make
The core business decision isn’t obvious. In fact, it’s going to take some time to pinpoint it and get the prospect to agree with your assessment. Prospects usually don’t see the real business decisions they’re faced with until you identify them.
Asking the right questions to uncover the core business decision is key. When you find the prospect’s pain points, dig deeper. The real business decision is underneath those pain points, and whatever you do, resist your instincts to sell to them. Prospects oftentimes clam up when you do. When that happens, you won’t be able to successfully identify the core business decision your prospect must make.
The core business decision is the one decision your prospect must make that matters. If the prospect doesn’t know what that decision is, you’re not going to close the deal. The prospect is going to make every decision but the core one. Also, when you pinpoint the real core business decision, your credibility rises. You’re adding value by identifying something your competitors couldn’t.
Other things to keep in mind when you’re letting prospects sell you:
- Don’t be treated like a salesperson.
- Use your beliefs, conviction, and sincerity.
- Have fun.
Selling new prospects is hard. As it turns out, it’s much easier if you let the prospect sell you.
Photo: alphaspirit.it / Shutterstock