Getting your customer to yes is not always easy. Here are some “trigger tips” to help you on your way.
Think of all the time you have put in and the energy you’ve exhausted on attempts to cajole client contacts who love to say no but can’t really say yes. It can be a frustrating, morale-beating process. It also happens to be bad for your business’ bottom line.
Making a connection with the buyer, the individual who can say yes, isn¹t always easy. Aim low or aim high and, well, you know what you get.
The following tips are both necessary and instrumental for getting bigger deals in less time, from the people who have the authority to say yes!
1. See yourself as a peer
Before we get into approach, answer this: Are you confident enough to dialogue on equal ground with the big wheels who run the show?
You would be shocked at the number of grown adults who will answer this with a yes to others, but say no to themselves in subtle, counterproductive ways.
Trigger Tip: To view yourself as a peer, use positive self-talk and manage that internal cynic. Remember, how you present yourself is stronger than any service or product you offer. A strong handshake, a confident personality and voice, and the right mental attitude can make a huge difference.
2. Do your homework
A lack of preparation may be the biggest deal killer there is. When it comes to connecting with buyers, you must know three areas and know them well. This includes: Their company. Their competition. Your product or service. Do these seem like no-brainers? You’d be surprised how many service providers don¹t know when a company was founded, what their mission statement says, who their biggest clients are or how they fare against the competition. As far as knowing your own product and service, read on.
Trigger Tip: If you haven’t made Google your best buddy, start today. It will swiftly allow you to collect information about the companies you target, and often the professional resumes and personal interests of your buyers.
3. Speak in sound bites
When you have the chance to speak to the buyer, get to the point and remember that less is more. Too many service providers ramble on
aimlessly about what they¹re selling and can kill their credibility because of the confusion they create about their product or service.
Decision-makers want you to be brief. Granted, when you get those few moments to audition, it can feel like a pressure cooker. So, prepare ONLY information that demonstrates how buyers will benefit and what their return on investment will be. If you don¹t have this ready to be delivered in 15 seconds or less, practice.
Trigger Tip: For every piece of information about your service or company you prepare, ask the questions that your buyer would ask, such as: So what? or What’s in it for me? These force you to always speak in benefits-focused, buyer-friendly language.
4. Ask great questions
Conventional sales jargon used to be ABC which stood for Always Be Closing. People are more perceptive than ever and most folks know when they’re being manipulated. Today’s world of collaborative, relationship selling, especially with high level buyers, should be more about ABO, or Always Be Opening. The more accurate diagnostic you make on a buyer’s needs is always a reflection of the quality of data you can learn from them. Questions are the golden nuggets that lead you down the path to yes!
Trigger Tip: Be sure your questions are open-ended, (which allow buyers to elaborate), and make certain they tie directly into the objectives the buyer has and how they will know when successful results are realized.
5. Saying No can get the Yes!
When trying to impress a buyer, it’s easy to try too hard. We’ve all done it, but it’s crucial to be yourself. If you disagree with something he or she says, tactfully push back and challenge them. Authentic candor has elevated many sales people from yes-(wo)man status who don’t get the business to peer status who get the yes simply by serving as counsel a buyer can trust and respect.
Trigger Tip: Don¹t try to be too enthused or eager right away. Think about how turned off you get when a telemarketer tries to impress you with glib, cheesey-speak. You want to run the other way. Be genuine and be honest at all times.
High-level clients are usually a tougher sale. They require an eclectic approach of preparation, self-talk and smart behaviors. But the common ground is when you are able to make that connection and get the right answer from the person in charge that yes, means yes!
About the Author
Joe Takash, a behavior strategist is the author of the newly released “Results Through Relationships: Building Trust, Performance and Profit Through People,” as well as a sought-after media resource and keynote speaker. As the founder of performance management firm Victory Consulting, Joe has worked with clients like American Express, Prudential, Century 21 and General Motors.