Are you having trouble getting people to buy what you are selling? Read this book. Let’s say you already know that to be successful marketing your business you need to identify your audience’s problems and show why you have the best solutions. Isn’t that good enough?
David Sandler (who created the Sandler Sales Institute) offers great insights for improving your sales presentations. His book begins with his five rules of sales success:
- Qualify your prospects
- Extract your prospect’s “pain”
- Verify that the prospect has money
- Be sure the prospect is a decision maker
- Match your service or product to the prospect’s “pain”
Rules #1, #2, and #5 are identical to the rules of effective marketing: identifying your market and their challenges (rule #5 might involve a creative packaging of your products or services for the prospect’s needs). Rule #3, while obvious, shouldn’t be skipped. Rule #4 ensures that you’re not wasting your time talking to the wrong people in an organization.
The book continues with a description of the “Sandler Submarine”, a series of selling steps:
- Bonding & Rapport. Make the prospect fell more okay than you feel.
- Up-front Contracts. Create an agreement to see if you have anything to discuss.
- Pain. Find a prospect’s “hurt” and probe how much pain they are in. Show how your business can eliminate the pain.
- Budget. Identify their budget, or offer a lower end “entry” solution.
- Decision. What is your prospect’s decision-making process? When will they be moving forward? How do you get paid? Who will be involved the the decision-making process?
- Fulfillment. Review your prospect’s contract, pain, budget, and decisions. Ensure that your solution solves the prospect’s pain.
- Post-Sell. To avoid buyer’s remorse, thank them for the order, bring up a agreed upon compromise, and give them a chance to back out now.
Additionally, he introduces a number of techniques to control the selling conversation, including:
- Reversing (“That’s an interesting question. Why do you ask?”)
- Controlling the Interview (“Can we just back up for a moment?”)
- Stroke-Repeat-Reverse (“I appreciate the fact you’re telling me I’m close, but let me ask you a question”)
- Negative Reverse (“Could you tell me more specifically just how you see my product solving your problem?”)
Thanks to Bob Annick (707. 343.1722 Business Growth & Development Corporation) for recommending this month’s book.