I once traveled with an insurance salesperson who was meeting with a well-qualified potential client. After a few pleasantries, the salesperson asked a couple of minor questions and then began hammering the prospect with tons of information regarding insurance options. After 10 minutes, I could see the buyers eyes begin to glaze over.
Thats when I stepped in and asked the prospect, What are you really trying to accomplish here? Whats most important to you? The clients relief was palpable. It brought home to me a timeless truth about selling: Buyers dont care how much you know until they know how much you care.
But I really do care, you may protest. And I believe you. Most salespeople care deeply about their clients. Its just that many of us develop bad habits that create the perception of someone who cares only about making the sale.
Buyer suspicion is high, and for good reason. After all, havent you been pressured to buy something by a salesperson who hasnt taken the time to make you feel understood?
Even the best salespeople sometimes offer solutions before they fully understand all aspects of the prospects situation. And its understandable. Why? Because we live and work in a nanosecond society, which is all about moving fast and saving time.
Potential buyers expect you to have the information they need now, and if you dont provide it, they will go elsewhere. On the other hand, too much information can easily overwhelm the buyer, causing him or her toyou guessed it!go elsewhere.
In the face of this information quandary, what do you do? Im convinced that being a sales superstar is all about diagnosing. You must sift through the information thats relevant to the prospects specific needs, then use this research to prescribe a well-tailored, customized solution.
Of course, you know this already. The key is remembering to walk this delicate tightrope at the critical moment. Heres a visualization device I suggest to clients: Think of yourself as a Doctor of Selling.
Thats right. Picture yourself in a white lab coat with a stethoscope and an encyclopedia of knowledge in your head and a wealth of appropriate treatment options at your fingertips.
Physicians know they must clarify the patients problem and conduct a pragmatic diagnostic process before they can prescribe any treatment. Doctors of Selling follow an identical process: They diagnose potential buyers fully to uncover any needs for the salespersons product or service. Through careful questioning, they assess buyer problems and areas of desired growth, then lead the buyer to recognize those unfulfilled needs themselves.