Seven Steps To More Productive Sales Conversations
Conversations are a natural part of any sales interaction. They’re how you get to know clients and prospects, and how you communicate your offerings. Whether you are sitting down with a client face-to-face or logging on for a virtual sales call, you can make the most of your conversation by following a few simple steps.
Jay Fuchs, a writer for the HubSpot blog, has put together a list of the seven steps to having extremely productive sales conversations. We share his thoughts in this issue of Promotional Consultant Today.
1. Prepare thoroughly. The first step to having any kind of productive discussion is preparing. If you are not familiar with your prospect’s business and industry, your sales discussion will come across as impersonal and generic. Fuchs says it’s important to familiarize yourself with key elements of the prospect’s business and their unique challenges so you know precisely how you can help them.
2. Understand the prospect’s pain points. This step follows the preparation step because it might be the most important byproduct of your preparation, says Fuchs. Each company has its own needs, qualities, interests and goals, and it’s your job as a sales professional to determine the pain points that stem from these elements.
3. Establish rapport. No one wants to feel like they are being strong-armed into buying something. This step is important because you want to help your prospect feel at ease. You want your conversation to feel as familiar and natural as possible, says Fuchs, so look for common ground and show a genuine interest in their business. And most importantly, be yourself. If you’re overbearing or robotic, you’ll probably have a hard time connecting with the other person.
4. Emphasize the value. Remember that the prospect is interested in what you can do for them. A value proposition is called a value proposition for a reason, says Fuchs. The goal is to promote the overall value your product or service can provide.
5. Exude confidence. If you don’t feel confident in what you’re offering, you can’t expect your prospects to feel confidence, either. However, you don’t want to cross the line between confidence and arrogance. Listen to your prospects but make sure you contribute to the conversation as well. Both parties have a stake in the conversation, Fuchs points out, so make sure there is give and take.
6. Listen. This step is important in any sales conversation because you need to absorb and process what the prospect is saying. Fuchs says that actively listening helps you more effectively tailor your pitch to suit the prospect’s needs as the conversation unfolds.
7. Keep it conversational. A sales conversation should be just that—a conversation. Don’t go into the discussion with a rehearsed script. Have an idea of what you’d like to cover but let the conversation flow and leave room for friendly back-and-forth.
When you learn to engage in more meaningful sales conversations, you can often establish more relationships and close more deals. To start having more productive discussions, remember the points above and that your job is to ultimately look for ways to help the prospect.
Compiled by Audrey Sellers
Source: Jay Fuchs is a junior staff writer for the HubSpot blog.