How to Create More Open Sales Prospects

How to Create More Open Sales Prospects
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The First Step
How is your sales pitch going? Does it seem like too many doors are being slammed in your face? Welcome to the world that too many sales reps endure day after day. You need to learn how to create more open sales prospects.

What they are missing is the critical first step in any effective sales process. To be successful in sales, your prospects need to be open to engaging with you.

The Problem
Deserved or not, traditional salespeople, regardless of their consultative selling skills, have to overcome a bad rap. Many prospects react negatively to sales calls. At the very least they are guarded and generally unreceptive.

Salespeople must recognize that it does no good to push harder; they will only increase the prospect’s resistance. Instead, you need to reduce the tension. Only then can you begin to learn more about your target client’s priorities, challenges, and needs so that you can help them to succeed.

Compounding the problem is that very few sales professionals devote the time or effort required to be properly prepare for the initial sales call.  According to Forester Research, less than 25% of salespeople meet buyer expectations, create value, or get agreement for a next step during their sales meetings.  Much of the poor track record comes down to a lack of sales preparation. 

  • 78% of sales people did not have relevant client case studies to share
  • 77% did not fully understand their core issue
  • 70% of sales people were not adequately prepared to answer their questions

The Goal
Before you can even begin a real sales discovery conversation, you need a prospect who is willing to openly share their challenges and needs. Only then can you gain a true understanding of how you might be able to help them in a way that makes sense. You need to earn their trust and put their best interests first.

A Sales Technique that Works

  1. The Gentle Approach
    Isn’t there something about catching more bees with honey? What we know to be true is that you can’t bully your prospect into listening. Instead, give your potential new client a choice. In other words, ask, don’t tell. Try questions like these:

    “We work with many clients in similar situations, may I ask you a few questions to see if we can help you be successful?”

    “Our solutions may not be the best fit for you. Do you mind if I ask you a few questions to understand your goals and see if we might be able to help?”
  2. The Focus Where It Belongs
    The term “customer focus” may be an overused expression but being customer centric works. Customer interactions are not about you; they are about your customer and your customer’s customer. 

    Create a trusting environment that makes it easy for your prospect to share what matters most to them personally and professionally.  Then practice active listening and ask relevant questions that keep the focus where it belongs.

The Bottom Line
As a salesperson, are you doing all you can to open a conversation that will reveal the wants and needs of your prospects? Learn how to open the door to new sales opportunities by creating more open prospects.

To learn more about how to create more open sales prospects, download  30 Sales Questions More Important than Budget When Selling Solutions

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