If you are over 40 or watch the TV Land channel, you are familiar with the bumbling, trench coat clad, Italian-American detective Lt. Frank Colombo, played by the late Peter Falk. He was the absolute best at gathering information to solve murder cases by asking questions, since his suspects didn’t volunteer much information. His most famous line was always heard after he had turned to leave. Although his suspects thought he was finished, he would wheel around and add, “Oh, dere’s jus one more ting.” The answer that followed would always provide the clue that Colombo needed to solve the crime committed in each episode.
You can talk and talk with a sales prospect, but if you never boil down all the yak-yak to a concrete need, all you’ve done is hold a conversation and function as an unpaid entertainer. You should probe circumstances for possible opportunities for your product or service, and then ask how and about whom those circumstance impact. Finally, you have to confirm your suspicions and get your prospect to agree they have concrete needs. Here’s some helpful question lead-in’s to accomplish those goals:
Probing Buyer Circumstances
“How do you currently…?”
“How well is that working?”
“What challenges have you had with…?”
“What would you improve about…?”
“What is your process for…?”
“How does that affect…?”
“What is the impact of…?”
“How do you feel about…?”
“What does that cost you in $$$…or time…or productivity…?”
“Are you looking for a way to…?”
“Is it important to increase/reduce…?”
“Would it be helpful to…?”
You will only succeed to the degree that your buyers succeed. Buyers tell you how to help them win when they communicate their requirements, which salespeople call needs. A need is a requirement to achieve or enhance something.
You can only help by first understanding and satisfying the buyer’s objectives, and since it’s impossible to see most needs, your buyer helps you greatly when you coax the words out of their mouth.
To know for sure the buyer has a need, they must communicate using needspeak; a silly name I use for the language that shows desire to really do something. Here, are some examples of the trigger words buyers use to let you know they are serious about something:
|“I want…”||“I hope…”|
|“I need…”||“What matters is…”|
|“I’d like to…”||“It’s important to…”|
|“We’re looking for…”||“Our objective is…”|
|“We’re interested in…”||“My goal is…”|
|“I wish…”||“We require…”|
On all sales calls, it’s crucial to listen for and recognize needspeak. If you don’t hear this language, you can’t be sure whether the prospect really has a desire to achieve or enhance something, or if they are just carping about a problem or concern they are currently experiencing, but with no intention of taking action.
©2016 Robinson Training Solutions, LLC