Today’s Sales Tip – Know your prospect, Know your competition

This title seems pretty straight forward and easy, but you would be amazed how many sales people follow the ‘show up and throw up’ and hope for a sale. For some reason we feel the need to tell our prospects all the things our product or service can do. Maybe it’s because we really believe in what we sell, which we should or maybe it’s because all we practice and see over and over again is product knowledge.
Regards to why you follow this process, you need to break the habit. If you want to separate yourself from your competition and 98% of the sales people out there, learn to ask questions. Specifically, questions that help you understand what your client is doing, why they are doing it that way, and how they came to decide to do that way. Asking questions like these will allow your prospect to feel comfortable that you want to become a valuable resource to them. We all know that asking questions is important and I’m 100% that if you have been told to ask questions.
What kind of questions are you asking though?
Are you asking questions about your product or service? Or are you asking questions to understand your prospect’s situation?
If you believe Sales is as much of art as it is science, you will understand that neither of these is right and neither is wrong. It comes down to time and place. When you begin the relationship with your prospect you have know what they do, how they do it, why they do it that way and how they came to do it that way. By doing this, you are already different than almost any sales person your prospect has spoken with and you know who your biggest competition is: Status Quo. After you know about your prospect, then you go into the questions that lead the prospect down the path your your product or service.
If you are wondering what questions to ask or when to ask them in the process, just remember you have to practice. Either with your sales manager and they can help you with the specifics of your product and industry. Or you need to find a sales coach that focuses on practicing core questioning skills. Practice, yup, it’s that easy.