People: They Are All The Same/Different
By Jeff Shore
When it comes to sales, it would be awesome if only that first statement was true. Sales formulas would work every time! But, the reality is, both statements are true. Making this seeming contradiction even more complex is the fact that the two halves overlap.
Given the fact that people are all the samedifferent, (don’t go looking for that word in a dictionary) salespeople need a clearly defined sales strategy (for all that is the same in people) that is highly flexible (for every unique individual). I promise you, this IS doable!
Here is the outline for a sales strategy that will work the same way for every individual customer.
- Current dissatisfaction
- Future promise
Every customer is on a mission to improve their life. If your sales strategy is based on these four categories, you will understand your customer’s mission and therefore be able to serve them effectively.
These four categories take shape in the form of questions.
1. Relationship Questions
The most important aspect of these questions is that they be what I call “coffee worthy.” If it’s not a question you would ask when out to coffee with someone, it’s not worthy. This is also the trickiest category of the four because you have to ask these questions like you really mean them. Oh wait, not LIKE you mean them, you have to ACTUALLY mean them! Here’s an example of a relevant relationship question to begin with: “So, you’ve been at this all weekend…how’s it going?” Or, “I know this is just the beginning of your process…how are you feeling at this point?” Basically, these are deeper versions of “How are you?” Even “How are you?” is a decent relationship question to ask IF you mean it.
2. Motivation Questions
I believe the “Big Why” question is the most important inquiry of the entire presentation. Motivation questions should be simple and conversational and you should always set them up with a permission to ask question: “I want to be able to point you in the right direction, can I ask you a couple quick questions? …Why are you thinking about ___________ (moving / buying a new car / buying a necklace) in the first place?” Make sure the question is well-defined vs. something vague like, “What brought you out today?”
3. Dissatisfaction Questions
Sometimes motivation questions and dissatisfaction questions have the same answers. The key to effective dissatisfaction questions is to dig deep. Example: “Tell me more about that”…”Tell me why you feel that way.” Find the back story and you’ll know how to provide the answer to your customer’s problem.
4. Future Promise Questions
The goal of future promise questions is to determine what customers have already thought through in regard to what they want and need. A good way to begin future promise questions is to ask, “What are the must-haves on your list?”
The ‘same’ part of this sales strategy is to have these four categories memorized so that you can execute them in the right order. The ‘different’ part is to customize them to each individual you encounter.
Perfect this four part sales strategy and you will change someone’s world!
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