Insights from the field of Selling
In the era of remote selling, so many distractions have been removed. We're not running through airports or running back from a client lunch to attend that staff meeting. We're not commuting and the stress of traffic is gone. In a way we have more uninterrupted time to process information and complete work. So as it applies to the prospect conversations over the web, it can be hard to know when in a prospect conversation it's ok to actually start recommending solutions.
So here are a few tips to ensure you stay in a alignment with your prospect and earn the right to make an intelligent recommendation:
1. Make a connection with your humanity: We are all in inside sales now which includes our prospects. Everyone has made the shift to remote work, so be curious about the tools and hacks prospects are using. We are all in this together so I like to lead with genuine care and concern. It's who I am anyway but this matters in the sales and relationship building dialog. Keep it professional but be personal and personable. These initial conversations are about giving, not receiving.
2. Realize that there will be at a minimum three steps to your sales process. Typically there will be a get to know you call, a diagnostic call, and a call to review initial recommendations. Of course there will be back and forth emails for clarity and questions, but the are the key legs to the engagement stool. Do your research but don't be afraid to show up to these conversations with insights that you couldn't find on your own. Just make sure they lead to a bigger hypothesis about a problem you can solve or the pebble in the prospect's shoe you're uniquely able to remove.
3. Be patient. If you want to talk solutions because the prospect is proving you a wealth of insight, remember that rough layouts sell better than finished ones. This is one of the greatest lessons I've ever learned in solution selling. Work harder to collaborate with the prospect on solving the right problem vs. pitching your solution. With that in hand, the next step is a high level approach that entails the prospect's spoken words, interwoven with the credibility that communicates that you and your firm have done this before. If you're going to use a few slides, make sure they say "draft" on them. In the era of remote selling, too final, too soon can make prospects can feel locked out. Most want to have a point of view and see their fingerprints on something they'll ultimately have to sell internally. Set another meeting for a deep dive after you've shared a more final version of a proposal.
Bill Walton Sales Training has over 60 years of collective Fortune 500 company experience in Sales, Sales Training and Field Sales Management. Our specialty is preparing individuals and organizations to present their value propositions in a way that results in higher close ratios. Our team are un-blurring the lines of differentiation between their client's fiercest competitors.