I hear that a lot from salespeople who are not closing the sale or finding the right solution for the customer. If you think this, you will limit your engagement to find out what is driving the customers decision and what they want the solution to do.
What if customers really DO know what they want – they just don’t know what the solution will look like or what is available as a solution? Align the expectation with where the customer is in their buying process: if they are early in the process, they may not know what they can do or what is out there for them….but they know what isn’t working NOW and what they would like in the FUTURE.
Be compassionate to where they are in their decision making process and ask more questions. Customers aren’t required to know the solution – that is the salesperson’s job to help with that. They came in the door…the rest is up to you.
For sales/design and sales management professionals.
I had the excellent fortune to work with a new client last week in Houston: The Amish Craftsman. They have a 4000 square foot store of Amish/American made furniture in Arts and Crafts, Mission, Shaker styles and they do a wonderful job with customers, create great energy in the store, and are lovely people to be with. We spent 2 days on sales training and when we wrapped up on the second day, there was still time to ‘practice’ and put into use what they has spent the last 16 hours learning and role playing. So with direction and intentionality, we chose to call unsold quotes (made within the last 30 days) to reenergize them and either close them over the phone or set an appointment for them to come back in.
Ashley, who is fearless and adorable – a winning combination!, called 4 prospective clients with whom she had worked, sketched, selected and quoted product. They were good connections, nice size opportunities, and had already received a ‘thank you for coming in’ note from Ashley. The instruction was to DO what we practiced if the customer answered or to leave a message as we had pseudo-scripted if the customer didn’t pick up. She reached 3 and left a message for 1, who promptly called her back. In all 4 cases, none of them had purchased yet, all of them were pleasantly surprised to hear from her, welcomed her reaching out to them, and 2 of them scheduled an appointment right then to come back in within the next 2 days. The other 2 still had some thinking to do, so Ashley gave them some homework and set a time to call them back. And the results were one of the 4 came in within 48 hours and bought….and it was a BIG sale!!
Moral of the story…neither Ashley nor the other sales associates have made it a habit to be in touch or to schedule appointments with the customers. It has been something missing from their repertoire, even though they are high producers and great customer relationship builders, and have LOTS of returning customers. The ability to control the communication and when the customer returns has been HUGE for them…and allows them to manage their time better, the customer can manage their time better, and the close comes quicker and smoother by making appointments and calling unsold quotes.
Go through your unsold quotes. What will it take to reenergize them? What is the motivating factor that will get them moving again? Pick up the phone and call them and ASK them to come back in… and schedule a time to be available that is low traffic for you and easy to arrange for them.