Prospects come to you because they have a problem they want to solve. Executive level prospects are heavily weighing their options right now, and need to speak with you. In considering their choices, they are going to:
Do nothingBuy the most expensive one because of choice limitations80/20 the solutionChoose the solution that solves the problem fastestImplement the solution with the best return on investment.
In order to make this decision, the prospect is going to come up with some Decision Options (DO’s), and only one will be with YOUR solution. Stop right now if you think I’m telling you to talk to the prospect about adopting a potential competitive solution. That battle is best fought on the feature/benefit playing field. Your marketing department always enjoys that playing field – but the executive level prospect isn’t thinking about that right now.
The DO’s is what keeps the prospect up at night. I want you to write the answers to the next two questions down: What are some of the DO’s your prospect has right now, and what would be the outcome of these?
In this exercise above, pretend the prospect hired you as a consultant with the task of coming up with three recommendations to solve their problem. They will pay you commission if they buy your solution, but will pay you five times your commission if you come up with three recommendations you could pick from.
Of the three recommendations you create, only one has your product or service, and all three have to be quality solutions. What non-competitive options could you recommend? What decisions would you, and they make, and how would you both get to a decision point?
Working with your prospect, you will be far more likely to be seen as a partner than a pushy sales person. What’s the problem with this scenario below?
Jim: “What are your problems, Mary?” Mary: “I need a new website that has video, connects to my e-mail marketing automation software and can be implemented before the end of the year.” Jim: “Great! Our service can do that for you. We are a young, hip company…”
In the example above, Jim started off on the right foot by asking Mary what her challenges were. Unfortunately, after he received the answer, he went straight into pitching the service he’s selling. Rather than being seen as a partner, Jim has slipped right back into the role of a sales person. Let’s try this conversation again, but continue to investigate Mary’s challenges:
Jim: “What are your problems, Mary?” Mary: “I need a new website that is mobile responsive, connects to my e-mail marketing automation software and can be implemented before the end of the year.” Jim: “What are some other options you are looking at to address this challenge?”
Not only do these questions get your prospect talking, it also gives you an opening to provide a transfer of ownership with your solution. Remember: DO’s is what keeps your prospect’s wheels spinning. It’s amazing how we can cut to the chase and discover the power of the product/service we provide with a simple 1-2 punch:
Ask for problems / issues / challenges Ask the prospect what options they are considering
Seeking out the best solution to the prospect’s problem together is pulling for the win – not pushing for a sale.