In this article, we will be talking about the buying process. Understanding where you are in the buying process is vital to sales success.
As the seller, you need to be in alignment with the buyer at all times. You cannot be behind, or worse yet, you cannot be ahead of the buyer. Sales reps often will refer to this as “we are not connecting…” Wrong – YOU, the seller, are not connecting. Remember, the sales rep is in charge of the buy/sell process – you are the guide, the Sherpa, for the prospect. You must lead them through the dangerous and freighting “Valley of the Buying Process” leading them to the safety of “Solution Land”.
So, your prospecting initiatives have been a success and have taken you to the stage of an initial interaction with the prospect. Through your awesome Power Statement, you have created Interest in your offering and have earned an initial meeting. (Don’t have a Power Statement? Contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org)
Now at this point with the prospect, you are on a “first date”. Relationships, whether they be personal or business in many ways are fundamentally the same.
To hit home with this point – let’s say you are on a first date. You are with your date at a very nice restaurant and want to make a great first impression. You feel that the date is going really well and then you take this moment (which you totally miss-read) and start asking – “….what do you think of having children and how many 2 or 3?”….”Also would you prefer a starter smaller home or a condo in a good school district to start off?” “I don’t know about you…but big weddings turn me off…” “I told my parents and family about you and they are looking forward to meeting you next week….”
Your date would then excuse themselves and say “I am going to the restroom…” Proceed to call an Uber and leave…maybe even consider going into witness protection. Sounds crazy, doesn’t it? Who would behave like this??? My goodness, I hope not!
Ok – we got a good chuckle…but can you see how not being in alignment in the dating process looks like in a personal situation…none of us would act like this. But how many of you can relate to this metaphor in your career in sales? Going right into presenting a “solution” without building rapport, without going through discovery…. skipping all of the key steps in the buying process and then wondering why the prospect is “ghosting” you or what I call – going into witness protection. Being pushy and presumptive and not listening and not discovering and uncovering – NOT being in alignment.
Most deals are lost in the initial “foundation” building stage of the process called discovery.
As a reminder, it is not what we know that makes us able to succeed – it is how we relate that knowledge to people…knowing when to use your knowledge and be “in alignment” with the customer in the buying process is a key to sales success. Earn the right to close the sale and ask for the order.
So, knowing where you are in the buying process is critical…leading the buying process is mandatory…being in alignment is the key.
What do you think about this article? Have you ever fallen into this trap?
What can you implement immediately after reading this article?
Finally – help me out – let me know what you may be struggling with right now that I can provide insights and help you with?
Tony Picciano is the founder of Top Sales Success Group. TSS is the result of the unique experience and lifelong ambition of Tony. For over forty years, Tony has worked in sales and sales management with a wide range of businesses from startups to Fortune 100 companies. Tony is not only a sales expert, but also a marketing practitioner with expertise in strategic planning, new product development, new business launches, and collateral material development.