07 June 2006

Want more sales? Understand your prospect.

Develop a strategic approach
Strategic salespeople and trusted advisors sometimes need to give advice on areas that the prospect needs help with, even if it makes them uncomfortable. It's more important that prospects respect you than that they like you. Management buys from salespeople who fix their business problems. Prospects can have a narrow vision. Strategic salespeople try to fix all business problems, even the ones the prospect cannot see.

Learn what you can about business drivers
The better you understand your prospect's business drivers - the greater your ability to sell the value of your offering. Selling value closes more deals. That's why prospect knowledge is vital if you are serious about closing business. Conversely, failing to sell the value properly to the prospect often means that you give away margin to close the sale or, worse, fail to close the business completely.

Sell the consequences of not buying
Prospects don't always know how to buy correctly. Professional salespeople have to be prepared to tell them what could happen if they don't buy. Consequence management is an important technique to close sales. The more you know of your prospect's business and the better you are at getting prospects to accept your vision of the consequences - the more you will sell.

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