Thursday, April 15, 2010

"R" Word Questions

Tap into the power of the R-Word. Think about what prompts potential customers to buy and use the information to craft a better sales strategy by asking the following questions.

1. What’s happening in my customer’s world and how does it affect me?
Businesses and individuals exist in a wider world. What happened when gas prices went up? There were lots of consequences but one of them was a drop in restaurant sales because people cut back on unnecessary travel. Fly up and observe customers from the thirty thousand foot view. How are they affected by commodity prices? What about economic conditions? Is their situation getting better or getting worse? Scan the landscape for changes and determine how you’re affected.

What pain does my customer feel now?
People purchase to solve problems, so what problem is your customer looking to solve today? Be as specific as you can be when describing pain. Is the pain chronic or acute? Would they change to avoid it? When change requires dramatic action, what person within the organization has authority to institute change? Find pain because it shows you the shortest route to a sale.

How do you get a customer to take note of their pain?
When you talk to potential customers, you get one of three responses.
· Complete disinterest.
· Polite interest but no desire to buy.
· They sit up, take notice and say, “Tell me more!”
They say “Tell me more,” when your message is sharp and to the point. Paint a vivid picture of pain. Show them you have the cure. Use punchy selling words to color messages and make them memorable. Chose words like powerful, proven, innovative, rugged, profitable, superior, eye-opening and guaranteed. Strong language grabs the buyer’s attention. Use it to present your value proposition in a way that makes customers believe it’s in their best interests to talk further and learn more.

4. What bomb explodes if customers don't act now?
Some problems are dangerous to ignore. What happens to customers if they don't act now? How will they be worse off? Put the negative consequences of not making a decision under your sales microscope. Inaction comes with a cost. What is the cost? Use it to persuade.

5. What regrets does the customer want to avoid?
We look back at missed opportunities, recognize we made a mistake and feel regret. The next time we’re in a similar situation, we remember the path not taken and chose a different fork in the road. Mark Twain had it right when he said, "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do then by the things you did do." Raising the ghostly specter of remorse and tying it to the customer’s current situation is a sophisticated selling technique that increases the odds of success.

Final thoughts on the "R" Word tomorrow!!

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