Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Music To Your Sales Ear: "Sweetheart, Look What I Just Bought!"

"Look What I Just Bought!!"
During all the years I’ve working in sales, I’ve had the opportunity to close many deals. As with all things in life, some of them have been easier to close than others, as usual.

There have even been cases in which, despite having made every conceivable effort on my side, I couldn’t reach an agreement with my prospect, but on the other side there have also been situations where I’ve just meet a new prospect and, in the second visit, he has signed a several thousand dollars worth contract, although I didn’t need to push myself to my fullest performance.

And, without actually focusing our attention in any of those extreme situations, either an extremely easy sale nor the impossible one, I'm sure we can clearly identify two very different sales situations.

The first one is that in which I must admit I was able to close the deal by the actual use of sheer force, and by that I mean, sitting in front of my prospect and wrestling with him until, at the very end and after going back and forth several times, my prospect finally gave up, surrendered, gave me the approval and signed the purchase order.

The other one is that in which I wasn’t able to convince my prospect on the first few contacts, although I have done my best effort to showcase how my proposal would fit his expectations and budget. However, after a few days or even weeks, the prospect called me back to let me know he had finished analyzing all the information I provided him with and confirmed that, indeed, my proposal has satisfied all his concerns and doubts, therefore decided to do business with me.

Which of the two situations you believe has given me greater professional and personal satisfaction?

Bread for today, hunger for tomorrow: closing the deal using the force.

Although any vendor will tell you about the wonderful “I-am-the-best” feeling you’ll have when closing a sale after being for a long time discussing and negotiating with your prospect, properly solving all possible objections, closing all possible escape routes, making use of all your hat tricks and resources, until finally your prospect can’t take it anymore and drops down on his knees, defeated, on the floor. Let me tell you, my dear friend, such a wonderful feeling is completely temporary.

On one hand you have a salesperson leaving its customer’s office with a smile on its face, rubbing both hands and saying to itself: "hahaha ... finally I made it my way and got him to sign the contract". On the other hand you have a customer who is sitting back on his desk, dazed and tired, overwhelmed by not having had the ability to escape your seller’s clutches, and perhaps without even understanding what truly happened.

A customer who can only say: "What a persistent salesman! Look what kind of deal he pushed me to sign for"

And for you it ¡s a temporary victory because, as your customer recovers from the battle and reconsiders his decision, he’ll probably call you back to let you know he wants to cancel the contract he signed for, or even worse, simply call your office trying to get in touch with a supervisor to tell him how he feels you pushed him way too hard in order to get the contract signed, when otherwise he wouldn’t have made such decision.

Whatever the outcome of this situation is, it’s not at all positive or beneficial for a long-term business relationship. Your customer will never trust you because he’ll always look at you as a "relentless salesman," "a highly qualified, infernal machine capable of convincing anyone to buy something they don’t want" and that's not good.

The perfect sale: Helping your client make an informed decision.

The most pleasant sensation occurs in the second case I mentioned to you: When the prospect calls you back a few days after meeting with you, and tells you he’s completely convinced your proposal is the best fit for their needs, and has approved it therefore will be doing business with you.

The times I've had the opportunity to experience this feeling I can tell you it’s quite an interesting one: you feel flush running down your cheeks, your hands are shaking and then this sudden adrenaline rush.

You want to urgently share it with your teammates, you feel completely satisfied and proud because you know you've done an excellent job. You’re so excited that can’t keep yourself from telling your customer you’ll stop by his office in no time to sign all the appropriate paperwork.

The perfect sale occurs when your client says "I am confident your proposal is the best and I want to do business with you"

When you get to close a deal this way, you have a client who has endorsed its own  purchase decision. It was not your insistence but the fact that your customer had the opportunity to analyze all the information you offered him, had also all the answers you gave him during the presentation, and then has finally had the opportunity to say: “This is what we truly need”.

It’s what is called a "well-informed decision": There is nothing in the mind of your customer that can make him retract from his decision, because all the questions he had were professional and adequately resolved by you, without unnecessary pressure.

These relationships tend to last for a long time, and even often go beyond a merely commercial relationship, because your customer trusts you. You’ve won their esteem because managed to give a professional and honest answer to their problems, while given them the necessary room to make a decision, thereby demonstrating security and confidence on what you offer.

It is the famous "win-win" situation: you get the contract signed with the corresponding commission, and your client has successfully solved a problem. Both sides have won.

And that's the kind of business relationships that, ultimately, you want to develop for your business. Isn’t it?

Photo credit: bellemedia | See portfolio

I recommend you reading the following posts on this blog:
Already bought your product, now what?
Loyalty and CKCH: When is it that you really lose a customer?
How To Make A Successful Sale: Do We Create Needs Or Simply Discover Them? 

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