“Take the time to really listen to your customer, dig deeply into the problems they have. Estimate the cost of the problem and ask the critical question” – Scott Roy in today’s Tip 614
How do you create both concern and urgency in your customer to act and to buy from you?
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Scott Ingram: You’re listening to the Daily Sales Tips podcast and I’m your host, Scott Ingram. Today’s tip comes from Scott Roy. Scott is the CEO of Whitten and Roy Partnership. He’s spent his lifetime building and running large direct-sales organizations and co-founded a billion-dollar nationwide insurance company in the US. He’s also the co-author of the brand new book: Decision Intelligence Selling. Here he is:
Scott Roy: Hi! My tip for you today is how to create both concern and urgency in your customer to act and to buy from you. If you’re a savvy salesperson, you’ve already figured out that you should initiate your sales conversations by focusing on the problems the customer has, and not by starting with your solutions. Good salespeople know this, but still, I see so many of them fail to do it or to do it well.
So today I want to cover the key skills around problem definition that drive the pace and the certainty of the sale. This ability transforms good salespeople into great ones. Generally, there are four sales behaviors I observe in salespeople starting with the least effective in building from there to what I would call a gold standard.
The first kind of salesperson assumes that they know the problems faced by the customer because they’ve had some training and their experience with other customers who were in a similar situation. They tend also to assume that the customer is aware of their own problems. And so this sales person presents the product or service quite quickly and hopes they spark the customer’s interest and then they push for the close. It’s the most ineffective form of person to person selling.
The second kind of salesperson listens to the customer’s challenges, but only long enough to hear the problem they can solve. Then they dive into pitching their solution and trying to persuade the customer to buy. This approach has a better chance for connecting the solution to a problem actually felt by the customer. But the chances are that the sale is less certain. The customer’s going to have more doubts and will take longer than you want because the customer isn’t really experiencing a deeper concern or an urgency to buy.
Now, the third kind of salesperson is actually getting pretty good. They showed genuine concern and empathy for the customer, and they’re actually expressing curiosity in their situation. They know that listening deeply to the customer’s problems is primarily for the customer’s benefit, not theirs. And it helps the customer to build up their concern about the impact these problems have on them. By lingering longer, during the problem definition of the sales process, they create more engaged buyers who are attracted by the experience that you’re providing them. And because of this, you’ll close more sales, but actually there’s a fourth level of selling that is reserved for the truly great ones. They do everything that the third level seller does plus one more thing. They take the time to help the customer estimate the cost of the problems they have, if they are not addressed and solved. So they don’t tell the customer the cost of their problems. They actually lead them through a brief back of the envelope calculation and come up with an annual or multi-year cost of doing nothing about the problem. Then they ask based on the problems we’ve defined in the cost you’ve estimated, is this a problem worth solving? If the number is big enough, the customer will proceed with urgency to find a solution and if it’s a fit they’ll likely buy.
So in summary, take the time to really listen to your customer, dig deeply into the problems they have. Estimate the cost of the problem and ask the critical question is this problem serious enough and costly enough that you want to solve it. And if it’s a yes, then present your solution to fit the well-defined problem.
Now, what I’ve led you through today is a brief overview the first two steps of what is called decision intelligence selling or DQ sales for short, just like IQ and EQ are about intellectual and emotional intelligence. DQ selling is all about leading buyers through a set of common-sense steps that help them make intelligent decisions.
Now they won’t know how to do this. You must lead them through the process, step by step. DQ sellers are committed to help customers make the best possible decision by building their decision intelligence. They do this with their customers by exploring four subjects thoroughly. And in this order. First, it’s the problem. Second, it’s the cost of the problem if it goes unsolved. Third, it’s the solution to the problem. And fourth, it’s the value of the solution you’re bringing. This framework can be applied to short cycle one call sales all the way up to complex multi-million deals that require many conversations over a long period of time, but always the four major steps must be covered to greatly increase the customer’s confidence to buy and your chances of making the sale. Good luck!
Once you’ve done that. Be sure to come back tomorrow for another great sales tip. Thanks for listening!