It’s natural for a prospect to ask about price—and often so early in a sale that the seller has not had an opportunity to demonstrate the value his solution will create. This is because price is one of the factors prospects use when they seek to qualify a seller and a purchasing opportunity.
When I made this point in a past article, I received numerous emails and comments from salespeople who said they had never considered their prospects might be qualifying them and their offering at the same time that they’re trying to qualify the prospect. And yet, the prospect’s qualification of the seller’s solution is the crux of the whole sales process.
We are all familiar with the concepts of qualifying the prospect, investigating needs, developing a solution, creating value and overcoming objections. But all these concepts view the sales process from the seller’s perspective.
When we come at the sales process from this perspective, we view prospects’ questions as either worrisome objections or out-and-out buying signals. For many of us, the prospects’ questions are either black or white, either those of an enemy or those of someone who’s ready to buy.
What if, instead of being obstacles to a sale or indications of their desire to consummate a purchase, all those questions and statements by prospects were simply attempts to qualify us? In that case, we’re simply dealing with human beings who want to know whether or not we’re trustworthy, whether or not our offering is appropriate for them, whether or not we’re wasting their time.
The traditional terms sellers think in—overcoming objections, closing the sale, etc.—tend to set up an adversarial relationship. We’re on the lookout for the dreaded objection and the opportunity to pounce with a closing question.
However, if we recognize that the sales process involves both parties qualifying each another and that the qualifying process involves investigation and questions, we can relax and begin to address our prospects’ questions for what they really are—a legitimate attempt to find out who we are and whether or not we’re someone they want to work with.
Go forth and qualify—and let yourself be qualified. Don’t think of yourself as engaging an adversary in battle. Instead, think of yourself as helping prospects discover what they need to know in order to improve their situations—and selling will be a whole lot more fun.
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Paul McCord is a best-selling author, speaker and leading authority on lead generation. He has more than 20 years’ experience coaching and mentoring salespeople. For more information, go to mccordandassociates.com.