In this current economic climate and buyers being more cautious with spending their budgets than ever before, now is the pivotal time a sales professional must always be on his ‘A Game’.
It’s all about being able to demonstrate how you can add value to your customers and be a source of both knowledge and expertise in your field. Two decades ago selling was all about selling a product or service to your customers; I believe things have taken a full 360 degrees and now it’s all about ‘helping people buy’. In order to help your customers buy, you must understand exactly what they want and their reasoning behind this desire, and then recommend a solution. Notice I used the word ‘recommend’, after all, what are we if we are not recommenders or trusted advisors?
Let me illustrate this. You walk into a Doctor’s surgery and see Doctor Number 1 and say, “Doctor I hope you can help, I have a splitting headache.” He replies “take some paracetamol and if the pain persists please come back to and see me.”
I then walk in and see Doctor Number 2 and say, “I hope you can help,” I have a splitting headache. The doctor offers me a seat and says:
“Dr: Where in your head is the pain?
Me: In my temples, I reply.
Dr: When in the day do get these headaches?
Me: Normally the morning.
Dr: How long have you been suffering?
Me: About a month in total.
Dr: How much liquid do you drink in the day?
Me: About a litre I guess
Dr: On a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being excruciating pain, where would you describe your pain?
Me: I suppose a 7 at its worst.
Dr: From what you’ve described I would recommend paracetemol, if the pain persists come back and see me.”
Which Doctor would you rather see? I would assume the latter would be your answer. Which Doctor is better medically trained? Really we don’t know, they could be as qualified as each other.
So why did you choose Doctor 2? What did he demonstrate that the first Doctor didn’t? He showed his credibility, clearly took an interest in me, gave me absolute confidence that he knew what he was doing. So by asking a few open questions, my perception was, he was far more professional and a much better Doctor.