For all sales professionals and interior designers
This is the first installment in a series on Creating Urgency. I get asked by sales leaders how to help their team members to close sales more quickly… and asked by salespeople how to do the same.
Recently, I blogged about the importance of managers ‘jumping in’ to the sales interaction if they believe it is taking too long without an apparent end in sight, or too much time during an especially high traffic period, or just to check in to see if the salesperson is on track to bring the interaction to an intended close: the sale or an appointment.
That action would be helpful if that action included finding out the urgency on the part of the customer – a logical question for a sales manager to ask, especially if it hasn’t been asked by the sales person.
Urgency is part of every sale even if that urgency to purchase is far off…you at least want to know what it is and when it needs to happen. And expecting to buy today and being able to buy today are two different things. Every buyer has ‘motivating factors’ that we need to learn as critical and essential aspects of the sale and it is up to the salesperson to ask and learn these and not expect that the buyer will reveal that information on their own.
1. Ask and find out motivating factors.
2. Determine how important they are to them (on a scale of 1-10)
3. Find out what the negative impact would be if they didn’t take action by when they need to take it. In essence, what is the pain that not taking action would cause or enhance?
4. Use that information in your presentation and in your close.
Mastering the art of Urgency is vitally important to developing a successful Sales Team and achieving goals. I have a dynamite half day seminar on ‘Creating Urgency’ that has had a tremendous impact on sales for the teams that I have worked with. Reach out and let’s discuss investing in your sales team!
With 3 weeks left in the year, I am organizing myself for a new year of expansion and new challenges. Last week I met with Kate, my social media and marketing associate, and discussed what I want the New Year to bring and how we will do that. It also expanded her role as my collaborator, executor, ‘nudge’, and truth-teller. I am grateful for her partnership.
As you look to 2015, what do you want? At the end of next year, what do you want to have done, accomplished, eliminated, transformed? December is a wonderful month for this exploration. It’s often a slow retail month and a busy installation and delivery month, so we tend to focus on completing sales rather than writing new ones. And owners and sales managers begin new setting targets as the current target period comes to a close – having been exceeded, met, just missed or missed by a mile. I missed a few this year but I made many more than I missed. My goal sheet begins with my purpose, my core values, and what I can be counted on for, so that it informs what I focus on for the year. My goals include personal goals, financial goals (which include property owner), and business goals – as an owner, salesperson, creator, and speaker/coach. I am revisiting the goals I missed this year to see what happened: no real commitment to achievement? Insufficient strategy? Strategy not acted upon? Actions not well executed? The pattern I see is the lack of a sufficient strategy and inaction. The ones I acted upon I achieved. And those I didn’t achieve are back on for next year with new actions…plus a few goals that I was afraid to put on last year. I am also adding support for those I am revisiting, as I believe I need that in addition to my own actions and as part of my commitment to achieve them.
How will you construct your goals? Articulate your goals as RESULTS, and your plans as ACTIONS. S-M-A-R-T has always worked for me and for my clients. S=Specific…make them clear and unambiguous. M=measurable…be able to count them with a number or percentage. A=Attainable….make them challenging but achievable. R=Relevant….make goals matter to you. T=Time bound…put a ‘by when’ date on them. You don’t have to wait until the end of the year to achieve them! And consider quarterly plans of action to move them along. I keep mine in a frame in front of me on my desk and cross them off when I complete them…I LOVE to see those lines sliced through and fill the page! Good luck with yours. Start now to consider what you want and writing them down. If you need help, call me. 877-663-9663.
Which are you looking through when you ask questions?
You probably already know my passion for asking questions – opening and compelling questions, qualifying questions, questions to manage client concerns, closing and commitment questions – I love them all. I love BEING inquisitive and interested in finding out more about the world that the other person is living in.
It’s especially helpful to be inquisitive when exploring projects with a client. To ask project questions assumes that there is a project, rather than responding to a product request with product information. Ask room and space questions, right from the beginning. Think broadly about how the product request from the buyer fits into a larger space and spectrum – and then ask questions from that perspective.
Example – a client asks about a sofa. Instead of immediately responding with details about the sofa, TAKE A BREATH, and ask “I’d love to tell you about this sofa. Can you tell me a bit about the space it’s going into?”
As the seller, we need to have a bigger viewpoint from which to start. You can sell products or you can sell projects…..and you get to say which you sell. By asking project questions from the beginning of the interaction, you become part of the larger landscape and a partner in the selection and discussion of more items in the project. EXPAND your thinking and questions and assume it’s a project that you’re going to be part of. You won’t be disappointed.