Ask Commitment Questions

For sales professionals, everywhere.
 
In keeping with the lifelong practice of asking questions is my lifelong practice of talking about them. Imagine a conversation where YOU really drive the exchange by completing EVERY response you have with a question. Think about it. Even if you answer a question posed by the other person, you keep the volley going with a question of your own. You: “Lobster is my favorite food…what’s yours?”
One of the more challenging types of questions is Commitment Questions – asking for a commitment from the other person so that occurs as a benefit to them.
Jim Grady was a partner and collaborator of mine for years and he was/isask a terrific salesperson. Early in his career, he had the good fortune of working with a top real estate agent. Jim asked him what made him so successful and the response was “I always ask for a commitment”. When he would show a property, he would ask the prospect “Do you like this?” And if they said yes, he would ask “Do you want to make an offer?” Then he would manage their response.
Simple.
Look at your selling strategy. Are you intending to ask for a commitment from the prospect – either the sale today or an appointment to make a sale tomorrow? Do you really know where the prospect is in their buying process and what they are ABLE to do now? Do you need to ask more Discovery Questions?
It’s all research and practice. Keep asking questions…all kinds of questions. And if you need help, ask for it.
Now, go sell something.
oxo,
Jody
Jody Smiling Photo copy

Customer Service Cancellations

 

For everyone, everywhere
As you might be doing at the start of the new year, I am scouring my expenses looking at what is nice versus necessary and can be cut. As an avid reader, my news subscriptions paper-business-finance-document-previewstarted to add up and I considered how much I read of each publication and I decided to cancel my digital subscriptions to both The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post. The latter could be done via their website and it was a simple process to execute, followed by a confirming email from them within minutes asking why I was leaving – which I answered, and another email within 24 hours, saying they were sorry to see me go.
The former made the cancellation process more difficult for me, the customer. In order to cancel WSJ, I had to call a phone number and speak to someone who wanted to know why I was leaving. I said I didn’t read the publication enough to warrant a subscription. He asked “What does enough mean?” to which I responded, “Hardly ever”. He then asked if he cut the subscription cost in half, would it approximate how much I read it? I said yes, and he said, “Let’s do that then”. He proceeded to cancel my most recent payment and to start another subscription at 50% of what I was paying.
What a difference. At first, I was bugged by WSJ who didn’t make it easy for me to take action…but the experience was not problematic. And, while they lost 50% revenue, they kept a customer…something that the Post didn’t do.
It raises the question…where are you losing customers with a policy that intends the best but may not deliver it?
Now, go sell something.
oxo,
Jody
Jody Smiling Photo copy

This Equals That

For Sales Managers, everywhere
I  love Sales Managers, especially selling sales managers. I love that they love to sell and engage with the customer and that they are interested in developing their team members for greater achievement.  managers810
You know that I believe the sketch is the Holy Grail for the salesperson and the customer. Those salespeople who sketch and take notes during the interaction and gather great data that they use in their sales presentation have a higher close ratio, higher average sale, and higher total sales revenue than those who do not sketch. Period. So as a high impact, ‘do this always!’ action, it does not have a parallel or substitute.
For sales managers, there is an equivalent: Interrupting the sales interaction to help the salesperson to CLOSE this customer. Those sales managers who understand that their job is to help their sales team members to close more opportunities do this consistently while on the floor. Interrupting/inserting into the interaction to help to close is the equivalent for the sales manager to what the sketch is for the salesperson. No kidding.
If it is not part of what you do now, start doing it.
I spoke of this in an earlier blog…Tim, the Sales Manager at The Amish Craftsman in Houston is a master at this. He introduces himself at the first interaction with everyone on the floor, then swings back around about 30 minutes later to check on selection, to ask if they are using financing for this purchase, and to double check that they are purchasing accident protection.
The result: Close ratio: 50%. Execution: Mastery.
Start practicing this and if you need help, call me.
Now, go help your salespeople to sell something.
oxo,
Jody
Jody Smiling Photo copy