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Sales Tips From The Voice of Reason


"Are You Selling 'How' Or 'What?'"
by Robert Reason Sr. 

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If we are selling "how", we are not selling much for ourselves. We are selling for our competitor.
Sales people get it in their head that it is important to tell a prospect exactly how everything works. The more knowledgeable we are in nuts and bolts, the more likely we are to want to impress our prospect with that knowledge, and the less likely we are to get the order.

Frances Bacon said that knowledge is power. Our prospect has the power of the check book. We have the power of knowledge. It is our only edge. When we share all of that knowledge before we have any commitments in return, we surrender that edge and our prospect will run straight to our competitor with it.

Would you sell more if your prospect shared everything with you, that they were told by your competitor? Your competitor is reaping those benefits when you give away the only edge you have. I am often told "my prospect will not buy a product they do not understand." I am not suggesting that we keep them in the dark about our product. I am simply saying that if we give information away too early, it will cost us sales. Human beings buy emotionally. Let’s give them emotional reasons to buy.

We have a tendency to believe that our prospect asks questions so that they can feel comfortable making a favorable decision with us. We must understand that they are also wanting to feel comfortable buying from our competitor, and if they get enough "how" information from us, they will do so. We must learn to give enough information for them to feel comfortable buying from us, but not so much that they feel comfortable buying from the bad guys. We do this by selling "what," not "how."

"Sounds good Robert, but how can we do that?"

We begin by not discussing features. Features are "how." Benefits are "what." Your prospect needs to know "what" your product will do, not "how."

Let’s look at a couple of examples. Your window has a double pane, sealed unit. When you tell your prospect this, you are selling the "how." Instead, we ask "is comfort and lower heating and cooling bills a strong consideration?" Now we are selling the "what."

Let’s say we are selling a highly technical piece of equipment, the operation of which is very important to the purchaser. "We ask, Mr. Jones, is this X, Y, and Z benefit important to you?" After we get our affirmative answer we say, "not only will this unit satisfy all of these needs, but we offer something which to our knowledge is being offered by no one else in the industry. Once this unit is in place, we don’t walk away. We come in and work with your operators as long as necessary to make sure they understand how and why everything works as it does, and how to maximize these benefits."

Sell them! We have the rest of our life to educate them.

That's From The Voice Of Reason


Sales Tips From The Voice of Reason

"Ever Wonder How You Lost The Sale?"
by Robert Reason Sr.

Every time we make a claim our prospect is reminded of something our competitor said. Maybe a better claim than ours. How can he or she know who to believe?
We should take the time to analyze every claim we are making about our product and service, and practice ways of converting these claims into questions.

When we say that we are the biggest, the oldest, or the best, we are telling our prospect that we love OURSELVES. When we ASK, "is X,Y, or Z important to you," we are showing that we care about THEM. Not only that, but we are now getting THEM to tell US that these benefits are important.

When we get our prospect to tell us that what we are offering has value, closing becomes a formality. We are simply providing what THEY said they wanted. How then can we determine who is a prospect and never MISS that sale, and who is not a prospect, and not spend unproductive time with them?

I will explain what I do with the companies with whom I work. They report sales increases by as much as 50%. But you can improve your closing ratio by applying this method yourself.

When I teach sales people how to sell virtually every PROSPECT and how to determine who is not a prospect, I first spend time in the field with a sales person and ask a lot of questions, so that I can learn all I can about their product, their competitor’s product, the strengths and weaknesses of each, and what objections they are now getting.

Once I understand these factors, I can outline a presentation which not only ensures the sale if you are talking to a PROSPECT, but will let you know early, and often if you are not. If this outline is followed with EVERY presentation, you will never MISS a sale, and time will not be wasted talking to someone who is not a prospect.

The presentation outline must include the right questions (not statements) which will lead our prospect to feel that his or her decision to buy was theirs, and theirs alone. Few sales people understand how to do this. We will ask questions which will expose a non-prospect. The proper presentation will also afford complete control. We answer questions when we are ready. If we stop and answer questions in the order our prospect wants, we will LOSE sales which we could have made.

Sales are not missed in the close. They are usually missed in the first few minutes by not properly "setting things up." If we allow our prospect to dictate when things are covered and questions are answered, we are going to LOSE the sale!