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Get Your Customer to Say YES!

It's the Most Important Step In The Selling Process.......



So, here’s a question…. True or False from YOUR experience and perspective in either Direct Sales or Managing the Selling Process: 


“Successfully executing a selling process CONSISTENTLY is very challenging for me.” 


If your answer is TRUE, you are clearly not alone!  There are so many sales professionals that struggle to find the right path and process to repeatedly follow towards getting a customer to say YES to the deal.  I believe this happens because we attempt to adhere to a hard-to-remember process and steps, we don’t necessarily follow it in the prescribed  order, and developing the discipline to execute it consistently with all the external pressures and policy requirements of those we sell for, can just be too much to manage.


I have been so very fortunate over my entire career to have worked for some amazing companies and inspirational leaders, while meeting some incredible furniture retailers along the way.  No matter the title I carried or the role I had, the selling process was an always an important part of my responsibilities every single time, including either being in a direct selling role or in a position where I was responsible for leading the selling efforts for the company or initiative in some capacity.  Throughout the years, I had to focus a large part of my efforts on developing and mastering a process that worked well for me in a manner that was flexible enough to handle any specific situation or selling effort that I was executing.  


There are a lot of very smart people and effective sales training companies that will tout the process that they believe is the best to follow.  They can all most likely point to great successes from those they have taught to implement it.  While mine is most likely not a lot different than perhaps one you may follow or have heard of, I am pleased to share it here, along with the ONE step that is the most crucial to successfully execute every single time for the desired result to happen.  And what is that desired result? 


Getting the YES, of course! 

 

Here is the process I have followed my entire career, specifically when I want to influence the positive decision of someone or something I am working towards achieving:


1.    Initiate:  Discovering the Opportunity and Developing the Relationship

2.    Qualify:  Asking the Right Questions in the Right Manner to Determine the Need

3.    Solution:  Providing the Best Options to Solve the Problem

4.    Complete:  Successfully Addressing Any Concerns and Get the YES!

5.    Satisfy:  Ensure Complete Satisfaction and Ask for Any Additional Referrals


Easy to understand, right?  No fancy terminology, procedures, or paperwork needed to support it. Just a common-sense approach to identifying, connecting, listening, presenting solutions, and asking for the YES, without forgetting to ensure the ‘happy ending’ of the entire process.


So, of those 5 steps, which one is really the MOST important of them all? 


#2:  QUALIFY! 


When we are talking about the business of furniture retail, people rarely come in the door to wander around because they have extra time on their hands and have nothing better to do. 


People come into a furniture store because they have a NEED or a PROBLEM TO SOLVE.  The successful sales professional will work diligently to uncover exactly what those two things are in order to provide solutions and execute a successful result – for their customer and for them! 

Asking the right questions of customers during the Qualify stage of the selling process is crucial for sales professionals to successfully do for several reasons:


1.     Understanding Customer Needs:  By asking the right questions, sales professionals can gain a deeper understanding of their customers’ desires, needs and pain points. This allows them to tailor their approach and pitch to address these specific concerns, increasing the chances of successfully making the sale. 


2.    Customizing Solutions:  Each customer is unique, and asking the right questions helps sales professionals to uncover the specific challenges or goals their customers are facing.  This enables them to offer personalized and tailored solutions that are more likely to meet the customers’ expectations for the best options available. 


3.    Building Rapport and Trust:  By asking questions and actively listening to their customers’ responses, sales professionals can better engage with customers, showing that they genuinely care about their needs.  This helps to build rapport and trust, which are crucial for establishing long-term relationships and repeat business.  One important way to demonstrate this is to take detailed notes as the customer is explaining what they are looking for or what their preferences are.  This serves two critical purposes; first, by writing it down, the sales professional will have easy reference to all of the information provided, and second, it shows that what the customer is saying is important enough to make a note of it.  When it comes time to provide those customized solutions, the sales professional can refer back to the notes taken which should beautifully support what is being presented in the next stage.  


4.    Demonstrate the Desire to LISTEN Effectively:  Let’s face it, we all like to talk!  And, when we are engaged with someone as they speak, we are most likely to be focused NOT on what they are saying, but more likely on what our next response will be – so that we can get back to TALKING!  In the selling process, it is so much more important to listen more than to speak.  The customer is providing such valuable information and listening closely to the answers to all of the questions asked, provides the perfect road map towards offering the right solutions to successfully continue the selling discussion. 


5.    Prioritizing the Validity of the Opportunity:  Effective questioning techniques during the Qualify process enable sales professionals to quickly assess if they are able to provide the correct solutions or products to the customer based on what they have available to them to sell.  If that answer is no, this actually is a good result for the customer as it demonstrates a desire not to waste their time if the solution isn’t easy at hand.  It also assists the sales professional in appropriately allocating their time and energy to the next opportunity as it becomes available without wasting too much time when the likelihood of reaching the YES is minimal. 


6.    Overcoming Objections:  By asking the right questions, sales professionals can uncover any objections or concerns their customers may have.  This allows them the opportunity to address these concerns directly and provide reassurance, a different solution/product or offer additional information to alleviate worries or challenges and move the sales process forward.  Purchasing furniture is an expensive proposition, and can be very intimidating to most customers, so handling all of these objections during this part of the process is so very important.  It also demonstrates that the sales professional is clearly committed to providing a great solution to the need or desire their customer has by ensuring a satisfying and genuine experience. 


Most successful sales professionals create a standard ‘list’ of questions they like to ask their customers to get all of the information needed to present solutions.  These can be slightly modified as needed for each individual situation.   Each question should be asked in an open-ended manner, using the starter words of:


·      Who

·      What

·      When

·      Where

·      Why

·      How

·      Tell Me About…

·      Show Me….

·      Give Me More Info On……


By asking the right questions using the right starters, the customer cannot simply answer with a Yes or No.  In order to correctly answer the question posed, they have to provide a more comprehensive answer, which keeps the dialog going.  If you are still talking, there is always a chance to make the sale! 


Asking the right questions during this Qualify stage empowers sales professionals to understand their customers better, tailor solutions offered to their specific needs, build trust and rapport, prioritize their time and energy, and overcome objections, all of which contribute to a higher likelihood of getting the YES and making more sales – and THAT is why it is the most important part of the process! 

 

For more information on Lorri’s 5 Step Selling Process and other areas of coaching, strategic planning and speaking, please visit www.lorrikelley.com

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