As a salesperson, you are in the business of gap analysis. You are also a “problem detective.”
Your job – which is somewhat similar to a police inspector searching for suspects – is to find problems for which your product or service is the ideal solution. In a way, your product or service is a key.
You make calls looking for locks that your key will open. In the prospecting phase, you insert the key and find that it fits. In the presenting phase, you twist the key and open the lock. In the closing phase, you turn the handle and push the door open.
1. Clarify the need or the gap
Before you begin a sales presentation, it must be clear to the prospect that there is a distance between where he is and where he could be. The prospect must recognize that he has a need that is unsatisfied or a problem that is unsolved. The prospect must also feel that the gap between the “real situation” and the “ideal situation” is large enough to warrant taking action.
2. Build buying desire
Buying desire is in direct proportion to the intensity of the buyer’s need on the one hand, and to the clarity of the solution represented by your product or service on the other. This process of taking the prospect from “cold” to “lukewarm” to “hot” is accomplished by the skillful use of questions that uncover the gap and then expand it to the point where the prospect is ready to take buying action.