You’re in a sales conversation. Things are going pretty great. The questions your customer is asking are easily answered by your solution.
THEN, they throw the zinger at you. The question you can’t answer easily. The problem they want to solve, but you don’t have a plug-and-play answer.
You wrack your brain…you start making things up
You start thinking crazy things like…”Hmmmm….If they are asking for it, they must need it.” OR “Wow, my competition must be able to help them and I CAN’T!” OR “Help! I’m going to lose this sale!”
PAUSE. Take a moment.
Then say, “That’s a great question. What Are You Doing About That NOW?”
This question ALONE is a money-maker.
Now, listen. Their answer will be VERY telling. It will give you access to FOUR options which will help you shine like a ROCKSTAR and ONE option that will help you stop wasting your time.
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The FIVE power options
1) They will tell you that they AREN’T doing it now, but they would really like to.
This will give you the chance to commiserate with them. “Yes, that WOULD be great. Unfortunately, we don’t do that now. Why is that important to YOU? Have you heard of anyone else who does that, because I haven’t.”: (NOTICE: Now you are on THEIR side of the table and you can gain valuable information about any competitors who might be in the mix.)
2) They will tell you the painful way they are handling that now.
This will give you the chance to commiserate with them. Then, you can talk about OTHER possible solutions to their problem that you CAN help with. You can use examples of other clients who have had similar issues and have solved them with YOU!
3) They will tell you the way they are working around the problem.
This will give you the chance to encourage them to continue to use their workaround and YOUR solution. Then, you can launch into how YOUR solution is going to solve so many of their other problems that this workaround might be less painful.
4) They will tell you that your competitor DOES offer a solution.
This will give you the chance to find out what your customer’s TOP priorities are. Is the competition able to deliver the more important solutions that YOU can deliver? Then, ask them if they would be open to you sharing the solution your competitor offers with your manager so that your company can possibly start working on a baked-in solution for your service.
5) They will tell you that they currently have a good solution to that particular problem or that your competitor offers a good solution for them.
This will give you the chance to find out if the solution you DON’T have is a deal-breaker. If it is, bow out gracefully and thank them for considering doing business with you. (You will STILL look like a ROCKSTAR, by the way, you just won’t be closing the business. Funny thing is, sometimes when you bow out on the “deal-breaker”, you find it wasn’t a deal-breaker after all and they appreciate your honesty – AND THEY BUY!)
So, when you get into a jam. And you customer wants something you can’t help with. Be calm. And confidently ask, “Hmmmmm….What Are You Doing About That NOW?”
Love your selling UP!
The Irreverent Sales Girl