IT'S NOT A NUMBERS GAME. IT'S A GAME OF NUMBERS
Put price in a different perspective. You probably can recall those hair-pulling situations where you've established the savings or additional coverages you could help someone realize, but yet, they don't act on it. It's normally because they don't see the number as being significant enough. So put it in terms they can understand. "Paul, you're right, we're only talking about $400 a month savings here. But I bet that would make the monthly payment on one of your delivery vans."
Or, "The $200 cost reduction might not seem like a lot, but let's look at it a different way. You said you're profit margin is about 10%. You'd need to do another $2000 in sales per month just to make the $200 I'm basically offering you, for free."
STATE THE PRICE WITH CONFIDENCE
A sales rep called me the other day. I asked the price of what he had (before he was ready to give it). He hemmed and hawed, then said, "Well, it's normally ..." Which begged the question from me, "Ok, how much lower are you going to give it to me for?" Saying, "We normally charge ...", or, "The list price is ...)" implies you don't usually get that price, or you're very open to begin negotiating. Instead, confidently and smoothly state the price.
If the question comes too soon, reply with, "I want to give you the best price for the protection you need. Let me ask you a couple more questions to do that..."
HELP THEM UNDERSTAND WHAT IS MOST IMPORTANT
When your prospect compares you to his current agent/company, laundry-listing all of the competitor’s benefits, particularly ones you don't offer, ask him, “Which of those are most important to you? How many of the others do you really need and use?” Chances are, only a few are truly meaningful ... probably ones you can also offer. Focus on the real value he wants, the value you can deliver.
LEARN EXACTLY HOW TO WIN THE BUSINESS
A technique that theoretically is solid, but often sounds cheesy and amateurish is, “What's it going to take to get your business?” Better attempts to learn their decision-making criteria are questions like, “How, specifically, will you make your decision?” Or, “What decision-making criteria will you use, and which areas will be most important to you?”
HANDLING THE LITERATURE REQUEST
Don’t be afraid to find out if it’s a stall, or a sign of interest: "So I assume you want the material because you’re definitely interested in purchasing your insurance from us?"
"If you like what you see in the literature, what would be the next step?"
A QUICK PICK-ME-UP
Ever feel down after a call? Put things in perspective. Ask yourself,
"What humor can I see in this situation?"
"Does this experience really affect who I am?"
"What can I learn from it?"
COMPLIMENT THE COMPETITION
When discussing the competition, don’t be afraid to pay them a compliment. The prospect will appreciate you for it, plus he’ll view you as possessing the same characteristics you’re commending the competition for. For example,
Prospect: "So, what do you think about Geezer Services?"
Sales Rep: "Well, I know they have a good accounting department."
"TELL ME WHAT YOU HAVE" Here's another way to avoid "pitching." Think about how you react when, out of the blue, when a prospect says, "Tell me about your products." I've concluded that the more skilled a salesperson becomes, the more he or she is confused by that question, not knowing exactly how to respond. The reasoning is that sales superstars only make a presentation when they know what the listener is interested in. Making a blind pitch is "spraying and praying," meaning that you're "pitching" out descriptions of products/services, and hoping that something will be of interest to the listener.
Best Strategy: Turn around their question with a value statement to justify your own questioning. "I'll be happy to tell you how we might be able to help you. So I can focus on what you'd likely be most interested in, please explain how ..." Or, "We have quite a few options here, and so I can talk about just the ones you'd likely get the most value from, let’s start by talking about your ..."
DON'T APOLOGIZE FOR TAKING THEIR TIME
Don't apologize for taking someone’s time at the beginning of a meeting or call. It diminishes your importance. For example, consider the caller who says, "I know you're busy, and I'm sorry for interrupting . . . I'll take just a few seconds, and here’s why I'm calling."
Stop. Think about what you're really offering. You have something of value that will help make this person’s life better. You need to present that feeling with conviction. If you're not sold on your importance, they certainly won't be.
GET REFERRALS FROM WITHIN THEIR COMPANY
If you have a customer within a company that has multiple locations, or many departments at one location, you probably haven't even scratched the surface of potential business. The hard part is beyond you, getting the company as a customer. Now that you're in the door, part of the family, ferret out other opportunities.
Ask your customer, "Who else within your company could also take advantage of something similar to what we're doing together?" Prompt them a bit: "How about other departments? Other locations?” Even if they come up empty, ask them, "If I can find other buyers on my own, it wouldn't be a problem if I mention your name as a reference, would
WORDS TO AVOID
Be aware of words and phrases that tend to trigger negative or adversarial emotions. For example, try to avoid "policy," "procedure," "you have to," "you must," and "requirement." When told that they "have" to do something, or that a "policy must be followed," an instinctive defense mechanism is triggered, causing the listener to think of reasons to the contrary not the optimal environment for a sale.
UPDATE THEIR DECISION-MAKING ORG CHART
Knowing who else in an organization will influence the purchase helps you to formulate and implement your optimum sales approach. You can simply ask for this information. "Tell me, is there anyone else who will be involved in the final purchase decision?” When you get this information, it is helpful to draw up, and update your own organizational chart of the prospect's company after each call. In each person’s box, fill in little tidbits of info about them. Then, by referring to the chart before each call, you are able to put yourself in the prospect’s environment, and comprehend who else needs to be sold, and what needs to take place before you can win the deal.