Let me first introduce you to the various steps in the selling process:
1) Meet & Greet- Here you introduce yourself and get to know the prospects name and other initial details. (In some cases, you might be lucky to get hold of his Visiting card straightaway)
2) Qualification- Understand the prospective customer’s needs and wants
3) Presentation- Present the product/ service
4) Overcome Objections- Effectively clarifies/ answers/ satisfies queries and questions of the prospect.
5) Negotiation- Negotiate the deal (Price, terms and conditions, etc)
6) Close- gets the contract signed and seals the deal
If you have noticed, Qualification comes immediately after the meeting and greeting stage. Have you ever wondered why?
It is one the most important steps in the selling process. It helps in saving a huge amount of time and gets you to close the deal effectively and smoothly.
If Qualification of the prospect is done in a proper way then you will not have to deal with a lot of objections regarding the product/ service at a later stage and also the price negotiation will not be a long and tedious process. Most salesmen try to cut short the qualification process and then spend huge amounts of time and energy in overcoming objections and clarifications about the product/ service, thus putting pressure on themselves and end up delaying the process or even losing the deal and also converting a perfect good prospective customer into a dis-satisfied customer who will damage the reputation of your brand.
For example, look at this scenario;
A prospect comes into a car showroom looking to purchase a car which has good safety standards and features. He has a family with children whose safety is his concern.
The salesman at the dealership does not qualify his requirements/ needs properly and shows him a vehicle, which is known for speed e.g.; this car, goes from 0-100 Kph in just 8 seconds.
Now the customer who is looking for safety, will immediately reject this vehicle in his mind, as he is looking for safety and not speed, will raise objections at a later stage of the sales process, which will either delay the deal or even reject the proposition totally leading to a loss of sale to the dealership and the brand too.
Now consider this: If the salesman informs the prospective customer that this vehicle has Airbags, ABS Braking system, bigger headlamps which will illuminate the road ahead and on the sides for a longer area while driving and additionally it also has child locking system on the doors which will not allow the doors to open accidentally while driving. These and other safety features of the same vehicle if presented properly (after understanding the prospects requirements) will lead to lesser objections and also help in closing the deal for the salesman and end up getting a happy and a satisfied customer for life.
As you can see from this small example it is extremely important to qualify the needs and wants and the overall requirements of the prospect before suggesting a product in your portfolio. Your product/ service has many features which will benefit the prospect’s various needs and wants, but the salesman must be aware of all these and must present them selectively to the prospect, in order to convince him/her that this is the right choice of brand for his/ her requirement.
The qualification process is effectively managed with the help of these six open ended questions;
What, When, Where, How and Why
If the salesman uses these effectively to ask the relevant questions then you can be sure you will be on the road to successful selling.
So, practice these questions and use them as much as you can till you have understood the prospects requirements and then move ahead on the sales process as mentioned above.
All The Best!
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If you need your sales team to be more effective, then invite me for a consultancy and/ training program tailored to your needs and create more sales and business for your organisation.Visit my website www.prashantwelling.com where this blog is also recorded.