What to Do When a Client Says, ‘I Can’t Afford You’

Hint: The answer is not to lower your price.

6 min read

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Ask any entrepreneur what words strike fear into their hearts, and “I can’t afford it” is near the top of the list. This phrase is a huge letdown, especially when you know in your heart you can help a company solve a problem and get the results it wants to hire you for.

Related: The Ability to Sell Will Make or Break Your Company, So Stop Underselling It

When faced with this response, your knee-jerk reaction is likely to lower your price, but to do so would be the wrong move. The reason? “I can’t afford it” is almost always a lie. But, don’t be mad at your prospect for using it.

The truth is, even you’ve used this lie. At some point or another, you told yourself you couldn’t afford something, but then you rationalized, justified and moved money around until you got your hands on what you really wanted, whether it was a nice purse, fabulous shoes or that fancy cheese from the hoity-toity grocery store.

Or you said “I can’t afford it” when someone was trying to sell you something you didn’t want or think he could deliver on. After all, it was easier to tell a little white lie and let you both off the hook than risk hurting his feelings.

Related: Want Higher Response Rates? Start Treating Your Sales Prospects Like People.

In both instances, when you said “I can’t afford it,” you were lying, even if you didn’t have evil intentions. Your prospects are doing the same thing, and understanding this is essential to making more sales, because when someone really, really wants something, she’ll move mountains and find a way to afford it.

Here’s what to do when your prospects say they can’t afford you.

As a business owner, it’s your job to spot when your clients are using the “I can’t afford it” objection as an excuse, so you can respond accordingly.

The first step here is obvious: Listen for this objection.

The second step is harder: Don’t take their words at face value. Sure, sometimes people honestly can’t afford something. Their house is being foreclosed on and their credit cards are maxed out. But, their financial situation is not your business, even if they try to make it so.

The third step is to decode their real objection and respond accordingly. The good news is objections usually boil down to just three options.

Objection 1: “I don’t believe in your services or results.”

If potential clients read every word on your website, spent time on a consult call with you and still says “I can’t afford it,” they’re likely unsure your offer is the right fit for them. Although it’s possible they simply aren’t a good fit for your services, often their disbelief stems from a problem with how you’re describing what you do. It could be that the language you’re using to describe your services is full of jargon and doesn’t connect with your prospect’s true challenges and goals.

Related: Low-Hanging Fruit: Why You Need to Be Selling to Those Dormant Customers

Objection 2: “I don’t believe in you.”

If your language is clearly hitting the mark but the prospects don’t want to commit, it could be that they don’t believe in you. This one can sting, but it’s important to look at how you’re showing up in this interaction. Are you unintentionally projecting energy that puts your client off, such as pushiness, desperation, need for approval or lack of confidence about your offer or your ability to deliver? Your prospects will sense these things, even if they can’t put their finger on it directly, and they won’t want to sign up.

Objection 3: “I don’t believe in myself.”

All humans experience moments of extreme self-doubt, and your prospects are no different. When they think about hiring you to make big changes in their lives, they could be feeling insecure or anxious that they won’t be successful. This inner self-doubt creates an insecurity about their ability to make a good decision about hiring you.

Don’t lower your price. Clarify the value, build trust and offer reassurance.

Now that you’re clear on what your prospects are really trying to tell you when they say, “I can’t afford it,” here’s how to decrease how often you hear it and how to respond when you do.

First, you need to set yourself up for success so you hear this objection less and less. Your job here is to clarify the value of your work. To do that, ensure you’re using the exact same words your prospects are using to define their problems and desired results — not jargon — and write solid offer copy that conveys the benefits of working with you and demonstrates the results you help clients achieve. These two things will inherently justify the cost of your services.

Related: 4 Reasons Why Raising Your Price Is a Brilliant Marketing Move

Second, you need to know how to respond when you hear this objection. You’ll do that by building trust and offering reassurance.

You can build trust with wavering prospects by acknowledging their concern with genuine empathy. Then, get really curious. Ask questions to understand their situation and the results they’re looking for better. Listening closely to their exact words and mirroring them back is simple and highly effective in ensuring people feel heard and understood. The more you seek to understand and serve them — not sell them — the more quickly you’ll cultivate trust.

If your prospect is wavering due to personal insecurities, ask yourself what you can do to offer reassurance. Often, this can be done by offering examples of past client success; other times, prospects will need some coaching to believe in themselves — though there are always individuals who simply aren’t ready to make the transformation your services are designed to facilitate.

Lastly, remember that your job as a business owner is to stand behind your prices, prove the value and stay out of your clients’ wallets. The quicker you understand what you’re in charge of, the faster you’ll close sales and fill your calendar with perfect prospects who are dying to work with you, turning potentially destructive situations into wildly positive and prosperous ones.

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This Is the Most Profitable Way to Sell Your Online Courses

Eric Siu sits down with Joel Erway from Experts Unleashed to talk about the right approach to attract customers to your classes.

2 min read

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

In this video, Entrepreneur Network partner Eric Siu talks with Joel Erway about how he made eight figures from selling online courses. The marketing pro talks about how his approach includes building scalable, expert-based businesses. 

Erway describes how business owners often approach him and ask if it is possible to build a business around a single course. The answer is “yes,” but you must think strategically about what you are offering and at what point you want to offer it.

Erway notes that many educators and course organizers price their programming at an extremely affordable level (sometimes, as Siu mentions, as low as $10 per course). In his approach to helping these creators, Erway emphasizes to his customers that they must place value on their work. The marketing pro prides himself on this tactic of emphasizing value and combines its with positioning each course series from an original angle.

Click the video to hear more from Siu and Erway’s conversation. 

Related: The Advantages YouTube Ads Have Over Facebook Ads

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This Shocking Mutual Fund Secret Increased My Sales. Here’s How.

If you’re basing your sales strategies on this principle, you might not get the desired results.

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

If you’re like most people, you might have investments in a mutual fund. It could be a direct contribution or indirect like a 401(k).

But, here’s something you might not know: When mutual funds boast of “excellent returns” on investments, they don’t tell the whole story. When they tout how their funds are outperforming the market, they leave out certain facts.

Related: Lead a Winning Sales Team With Counterintuitive Thinking

For example, mutual funds often exclude their “deceased” funds. These are funds they started several years ago, but no longer exist. The attrition could be because of liquidation, mergers, poor investment strategy or management.

So, an investment company could have 100 mutual funds in a 10-year period, and after five years, only 40 of the funds exist. But, when the company touts its “excellent returns,” the data will exclude the 60 funds that did not survive.

In fact, one of the pioneers of the mutual fund industry, Vanguard, released a report that captured this reality. It found that for the five years ending on Dec. 31, 2011, 62 percent of surviving large-cap value funds outperformed their style benchmark. Here comes the shocking part: If you account for the deceased funds, that percentage dropped to 46 percent. This means that if you were an investor five years ago, you only had a 46 percent chance of picking a large-cap mutual fund winner.

But, this article is not about how to pick investments.

How to survive in sales

Here’s the point: This phenomenon of only calling out winners thrives on the survivorship bias. It’s the logical error of two things: One, we concentrate on the people or things that made it past some selection process. Two, we overlook those that don’t make it past the selection because of their lack of visibility. These two errors lead to false conclusions and opinions in several different ways. 

The problem is not only with mutual funds. We often find the same problem in B2B sales and prospecting.

Related: How This 4-Step Sales Process Has Earned Me $5 Million in the Last 18 Months

Let’s say I close a significant deal from a lead that visited my website from a Google ad. As a result, I conclude that paid search is the best channel for getting new business. In fact, one business owner told me recently, “I was able to connect with one CEO on LinkedIn. So, I want to focus on LinkedIn marketing.”

But, here’s the problem: This survivorship bias leads people to spend tons of money investing in those channels. And later, they start saying “This does not work.”

There’s nothing wrong with those channels. The only challenge is how they came to those conclusions. They’ve fallen victim to the survivorship bias.

The lessons I learned

We can avoid false, survivorship-bias-influenced decisions by understanding two factors: time and predictability. Let me explain.

First, let’s talk about time. By time, I mean how long it takes for you to use the strategy. Were you consistent? In B2B sales — especially complex deals — time is a significant factor.

The author of Fanatical Prospecting, Jeb Blount, talks about the 30-day rule. The rule states that the prospecting you do in a 30-day window will pay off in the next 90 days. If you’re looking for a quick fix for sales, by skipping the process, you will be disappointing yourself.

So, depending on how long it takes to close a deal, you need a fair amount of time to see if a channel or strategy is working. How long is enough time? Ninety to 150 days. This will be good enough time to execute and see if a strategy is worth it or only an outlier.

Related: 4 Strategies That Will Help You Land More Qualified Leads

The second factor is predictability. Here’s how I learned to define predictability: If someone else took the same steps I took or used the same strategy (after say, the 90-day period), will that person get the desired — if not same — results I had?

Predictability does not mean causation. But, at least it is the closest to a fair way of knowing what works, and what doesn’t.

I had the chance to work with one client who wanted to connect farmers in Iowa to an online solar energy marketplace. We launched the project in October. Soon, we realized that was a harvest season and all the farmers were not available to speak with us. If you picked up the same sales process we did and implemented it in say, February, you might get different results.

Predictability is vital for a sales manager with a team. If you’re hiring a new salesperson, ask yourself, “What’s the goal?” Do you know which channels or activities your new hire can take to achieve the success you desire? Or is your goal for the new hire to figure it out? Either way is fine — only make sure the expectations are clear on both sides.

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A Wake-Up (Sales) Call to Entrepreneurs

Selling is not something just for the sales staff, nor is it some automatic phenomena. It’s a skill any founder can and ought to acquire.

6 min read

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Entrepreneurs are some of the most passionate, inspiring, quick-thinking and hard-working people on Earth. I love entrepreneurs. My dad was an entrepreneur, and I work with entrepreneurs every day. However — and again, I say this with nothing but love and respect — lots of entrepreneurs are simply not natural sales people. The skills that you need to start a business and pursue a strategic vision are not always the same as the characteristics you need to close deals.

Fortunately, it’s not too late. Entrepreneurs tend to be curious, self-motivated people who love to learn; you can learn to be a better sales person. Having managed hundreds of lead generation programs for entrepreneurs and small businesses, there are key points that entrepreneurs should keep in mind to help them get better at sales.

1.) Sales aren’t automatic.

Many entrepreneurs, especially in technology or complex B2B verticals, tend to be technical types. They have developed great solutions, and they’re passionate about their technology, and they know how all the moving parts, bells and whistles work, but they don’t understand much about the sales process.

Too many entrepreneurs mistakenly believe that sales just happen automatically. They think that you just call or email someone, and next thing, you have just sold a $50,000 piece of business. The truth is much more complicated.

Related: You’re Thinking About Sales All Wrong

The more complex and expensive the solution that you’re selling, the more time and effort you should be prepared to spend on making that sale. In major account B2B sales, the average time to close a new account is typically six to 18 months.

Be prepared for the long haul, both in terms of patience and of the impact on your company’s finances. Everything depends on the timeframe of how soon your buyer is willing and able to make a purchase decision, how soon you can establish credibility and build a relationship with that buyer, and how soon you can get in the room with all of the key decision makers and stakeholders who have an impact on that purchase decision. It’s complicated. And it takes time. So don’t assume that you can just pick up a phone and rack up big sales numbers.

2.) Read up on your sales skills.

Lots of entrepreneurs learn how to code or learn how to manage accounting; sales is the same way. Being a sales person is one of the many hats that you have to wear as an entrepreneur, and you should invest some time in learning how to sell. (Check out a list of the best business books to find some inspiration.) A few key sales skills that you should think about:

  • Elevator pitch: You should be able to quickly describe your business, your product/solution, and why someone should care, for a 30-second elevator ride.
  • Sales script: Once you get on the phone with a prospect, what will you say to them? Practice in advance by writing a sales script. Lots of entrepreneurs are reluctant to do this; they think they can just improvise and talk off the top of their heads. But a script will help focus your thoughts and keep you organized and on-message.
  • Making “the ask: Sales is all about having the confidence and courage to make “the ask,” to formally ask the prospect to agree to take the next step in the sales process, whether that is to sign up for a demo, to attend a sales presentation, or finally to close the deal. Sales is not about being pushy, it’s about guiding the prospect in the right direction. Prospects want you to lead them and be clear about asking for what you need them to do next.

Related: How to Make the Ask, Use Limiters and Close the Sale

3. Create a sales process.

Not only do sales not just “happen,” they are the result of a disciplined process. Sometimes called the “sales funnel” or “sales cycle,” the sales process is a multi-step evolution of taking sales leads from initial contact to final deal closing. Your sales process might be different from other companies or industries; that’s fine. Find a series of steps that make sense for what you sell, for example:

  1. Initial conversation;
  2. Product demo;
  3. Formal sales presentation;
  4. Solution implementation budget estimate and ROI discussion;
  5. Final meeting with key stakeholders; and
  6. Closing.

Learn how to move prospects through this sales process, or one like it. 

4.) Build Trust.

It sounds simple, but it’s profoundly complicated: Selling is all about building trust and getting people to trust you. If customers don’t like you and don’t trust you, they won’t want to buy from you. Sales is all about building relationships.

Related: 5 Tricks to Instantly Connect With Any Sales Prospect

Selling to your internal network of contacts who already know you or know about your business is very different than selling to folks who don’t know you at all. Prospects need to trust your ability to deliver, especially if you’re selling a complex B2B solution with a lengthy implementation phase. And all that takes time, hence the long sales cycle. Fortunately, entrepreneurs are often charismatic people who believe in what they’re doing; learn how to project that confidence into your sales conversations.

5.) Cultivate resilience.

Entrepreneurs know how to roll with the punches. There are lots of ups and downs that go with running a company, and sales are the same story. As you work through the sales process, there are always going to be hiccups, and that’s fine. Your job is to get to the bottom of it and keep moving the process along. Follow up on questions, listen to what customers are saying, and read between the lines. Find out what people are really worried about, or what is the root cause of their objection.

Don’t assume that selling is something that only sales people can do. The truth is, selling (at its best) is fun. It’s a learning process. It’s a chance to meet new people and build relationships and to discover new insights about your company and your product. Every day as an entrepreneur is a chance — in some small way — to reinvent the world. I hope you’ll take these insights to heart and use them in your journey to becoming a better sales person.

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Grow Your Business Through Sales and Marketing Alignment

Aligning your sales and marketing teams isn’t an easy endeavor, but it’s one that can have profound and lasting benefits.

8 min read

This story originally appeared on Due

Whether you’re an entrepreneur just starting out or you’ve been leading a business for a while, you understand that sales is key to growth. You don’t have to have all the answers to everything before you start your business, but if you can consistently close sales, you can buy yourself time to figure everything else out and scale for the future.

To do this, your sales reps probably rely on a variety of tools and productivity hacks to help them get more done. But, if you’re not also using content marketing to help, you’re missing out on a major opportunity. In fact, the right content can enable every member of your sales team to spend more time selling and less time answering the same questions and addressing the same objections again and again. To get your sales team those resources, you need to bring marketing and sales together to create sales enablement content.

Advantages of alignment

I’ve heard a lot of different sales speakers over the years, and a trend they all preach is the importance of aligning sales and marketing. When they’re aligned, sales teams see 38 percent higher win rates, and marketing teams see a 200 percent increase in marketing-generated revenue. These are huge wins in themselves — but what’s especially valuable is the fact that both teams can do less work to earn those wins.

Sales reps benefit from the right content because it does much of their jobs for them. If a prospect has a question about your company’s solution, sales can send a blog post or case study that goes into detail. If reps receive common objections or questions about specific parts of the process, they can pass along fact sheets and whitepapers that overcome those objections.

These responses minimize the amount of time members of your sales team have to spend nurturing a prospect, whether it’s on the phone or via email. At the same time, they’re providing helpful, high-value content that their prospects can then send around to promote buy-in at their own organizations.

And by working with the sales team, your marketers can create more specific, effective content that helps their colleagues overcome traditional barriers to conversion. This means less time spent creating content for the sake of publication and more time spent producing high-impact resources.

No matter your industry, sales reps are some of a company’s most informed individuals when it comes to the customer. They interact with prospects on a daily basis, and they know what works and what doesn’t to meet those prospects’ needs. To be effective, your content has to appeal to your audience. With their firsthand experiences and expertise, your salespeople can help marketing create that exact kind of content.

Five steps for putting marketing alignment into action

Aligning sales and marketing teams is a commendable objective, but it can also be a lofty one. Effective collaborative won’t happen overnight, but the sooner you start the journey, the sooner you’ll start reaping the benefits. To bring together your sales and marketing teams, start with these five steps.

1. Get both teams in the same room and on the same page.

Before any two teams can become best friends, they need to get to know each other, and that starts with getting together. Have your marketing and sales teams meet, either in person or virtually, to start the conversation about their shared goals, the struggles they’re facing and what solutions could help to overcome those challenges.

This is important as marketing sets out to create a content strategy. Your strategy guides everything, and if sales enablement is a goal, the strategy needs to reflect that. So, set common goals at the outset, collect ideas for content, and put a plan together to get these resources to the right people at the right time.

2. Collaborate on content.

Content creation shouldn’t happen behind closed doors. The sales team has valuable insights that can transform a piece of content into exactly what the prospect (and, therefore, the sales rep) is looking for, so invite your salespeople to collaborate.

Sometimes it can be most effective to have sales reps byline their own content, and then your marketing team can refine copy so that these details are consistent with the rest of your messaging. Having content bylined by your salespeople also helps them build their brands and their credibility in the industry, making them more respected resources that prospects can easily approach and trust.

3. Keep the channels of communication open.

An annual meeting isn’t going to help sales and marketing remain aligned. Instead, keep the lines of communication open at all times. Create channels on Slack or other communication platforms that allow ideas to flow back and forth. Marketing can check out conversations the sales team is having about a tricky situation, and sales can hop over to the marketing channel to share content ideas and questions.

Take it a step further by encouraging marketers to shadow sales calls or inviting salespeople to attend and contribute to meetings about marketing strategy. When you’ve established fluid communication between the two groups, collaborative efforts will come about organically.

And don’t forget to account for differences in communication styles, especially if your teams are made up of members from different generations. In a recent keynote, which you can see here, I talked about how my daughter is growing up much differently from how I grew up and how interacting with and observing her is teaching me more about the value of understanding different generations.

So, if your sales and marketing teams are comprised of people from different generations, you may need to make an extra effort to understand these preferences so everyone on these teams can keep communication open and effective.

4. Create a resource library.

Almost 80 percent of highly aligned teams reported having a central location where content marketers store their assets so they can be utilized by sales personnel. This could be as simple as creating a spreadsheet in your shared Google Drive folder with blog posts, guest posts, infographics and whitepapers organized by topic. The point is that you’re able to get the right resources in the right hands at the right time.

This is especially important if you’ve been creating content for a while or you plan to continue consistently producing content. Eventually, you’re going to have hundreds of pieces of content to sift through. A bank of your team’s best resources for addressing the most common questions and discussions throughout the sales process can save everyone time and make sure your content is being maximized.

5. Share feedback early and often.

Refinement is a crucial part of any new process. When you’re establishing alignment between formerly siloed teams, not all of your initiatives will be successful. The key is to record what works and what doesn’t so that you learn from your mistakes.

If you don’t bother to track your mistakes and learn from them, you run a very real risk of making them over and over. If you follow step two, then the lines of communication will be open; encourage honest and constructive feedback to flow back and forth between both departments. That includes feedback about the overall process, as well as individual pieces of content and components of your messaging.

Aligning your sales and marketing teams isn’t an easy endeavor, but it’s one that can have profound and lasting benefits. Each of these departments has something important to offer to the other. Your sales reps know your audience better than anyone, and they know what it takes to convert prospects into customers. The marketing department knows how to reach these audience members and can produce and deliver the content necessary to get them down the marketing funnel toward a sale.

Both departments have untapped expertise that’s just waiting to be shared. Follow the above steps, and your business will benefit from an exciting collaboration that optimizes your efforts and delivers the results you’re looking for.

(By John Hall)

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Ditch the Sales Script and Do This Instead

Sales frameworks are a key stepping stone to building better relationships with customers.

7 min read

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

We’ve all been there: Your phone rings. You pick it up. Before you even utter “Hello?” you’re bombarded with a pitch. “It’s your lucky day, because … ” You’re hearing about a special discount. The person on the other end is talking fast and with confidence, but you can tell he has no interest whatsoever in what you actually need.

Related: 7 Key Selling Habits All Sales Professionals Must Develop

Perhaps you ask a question. Suddenly the call feels even more stilted, because the answer you’re given has nothing to do with what you actually asked. Maybe this person does have something of value to bring to your business. But, it’s painfully clear that you were just the next faceless name on a list of a thousand names. A drop in a bucket. You hang up the phone. Maybe the next person that calls is actually interested in what you need.

Using a sales script is a conventional way for a business to scale a branded sales approach. It may allow a business to execute a sale with those who don’t notice or don’t care that it’s using a script. Ultimately, however, sales scripts will time and time again fall short of creating a personal and emotional connection.

The value lost in doing so cannot be understated. A study by the Harvard Business Review found that emotionally connected customers are more than twice as valuable as highly satisfied ones. They buy more products and services, exhibit less price sensitivity and are more likely to recommend a business to others.

In other words, creating an emotional connection is the secret formula to not only making the initial sale, but also beginning a lasting relationship with a customer that will yield unexpected dividends. And there’s no better way to establish an emotional connection than by implementing a sales framework to close deals.

Frameworks: the science which enables the art

Frameworks have long been used in other facets of business to great effect. They’re commonly used by developers when building new programs or applications. They provide guidance while still enabling a level of creative freedom, often resulting in efficiently built and intuitively run digital platforms.

In the context of sales, frameworks are step-by-step guidelines for sales reps on how to structure a pitch. They are the scientific building blocks which give sales reps the freedom to leverage their strongest personal traits, build genuine relationships and master the art of closing deals. They allow sales reps to be authentic and build up a rapport with a prospect during the conversation, which is crucial.

Related: AI Is Taking the Art Out of Sales

In turn, organizations can overcome some of the major issues facing their sales teams today. Consider, for example, that in a survey of 1,289 salespeople by The Miller Heiman Group and CSO Insights only 53 percent of respondents made their quotas in 2017. Not to mention the challenge it is to hire quality salespeople in the first place: Salespeople remain one of the top three most difficult jobs to fill.

The numbers show that building and maintaining a successful sales team can be difficult. Nevertheless, a quality framework — based on authenticity — that steers salespeople through conversations without imposing a uniform approach is the first step to growing a company’s bottom line.

Closing deals with the art of authenticity

To close deals and build an emotional connection, sales reps have to come across as genuine. It’s all too easy for a prospect to decline a sale or simply hang up if they feel that the person speaking to them isn’t taking their needs into account. Scripts fail every time at personalizing a pitch to suit those needs.

This is something that renowned sales advisor and bestselling author Ian Altman also hints at, writing, “The major mistake [that kills sales scripts] is that the salesperson is reading the script, but not paying attention to the answers.”

Related: 11 Ways to Boost Your Sales Performance

Frameworks are effective because the relationships they foster are built on genuine, naturally developed trust. According to a new survey from HubSpot Research, just 3 percent of respondents consider salespeople trustworthy. The lack of trust is often due to a lack of authenticity on the part of the salesperson, and that often appears to be the case when they are reading from a script.

A rep can spend 30 minutes detailing the benefits of a product, but if the prospect isn’t made to feel like her specific problems can be solved by using that product, the sale has no chance of happening. Word-for-word scripts don’t leave any room for personalizing a solution to solve a prospect’s problems. They stand in the way of a genuine emotional connection.

Simple frameworks fare so much better than detailed scripts because they create an environment where both the salesperson and the prospect are comfortable. It empowers the sales rep to have a normal, natural conversation. They can pick up on character traits, adapt their pitch to meet the prospect’s specific needs, and provide credible answers on how the company can help solve their problems.

Not unlike the way they’re used in the world of coding and developing, frameworks allow sales reps get creative, try out different approaches, and hone their sales technique. As a result, they provide the playing field for sales reps to learn, practice, and ultimately excel at the art of closing a deal.

Related: The 15 Characteristics of People Who Succeed at Sales

A practical framework for businesses

So, what would a sales framework look like in practice? Here’s an example of a framework a company could use to provide standardized, guided steps for pitching a prospect on a first call:

Step 1: The problem (80 percent of first call)

  1. Identify the prospect’s problem.
  2. Expose the pain associated with this problem.
  3. Expound on the monetary, physical, mental and emotional ripple effect of not fixing the problem.

Step 2: Envisioning two realities (15 percent of first call)

  1. Envision a reality without this problem.
  2. Expose the pleasure that can be associated if a solution is provided (a solution; not your solution).
  3. Expound on the monetary, physical, mental and emotional ripple effect of fixing the problem.

Step 3: The Solution (5 percent of first call)

  1. Pitch the next step in solving the solution (i.e. the next, more in-depth call)

As this example shows, a framework requires a sales rep to have a strong, working knowledge of the company’s core principles, vision, products and team mentality, which are communicated to the prospect during the pitch. Frameworks illustrate a clear process, but unlike spelled-out scripts, sales reps are free to tackle each step however they see fit. Improvisation is not only allowed, it’s encouraged. Sales reps need to improvise, be creative and figure out exactly what resonates with the individual human being on the other end of the line.

At the same time, sales reps need to operate in line with a company’s principles, know what they are selling inside-and-out, and be able to explain exactly how that product can solve a prospect’s problems in a way that communicates clearly. Sales frameworks do just that, while enabling salespeople to facilitate personal connection in a way that best fits with their personality. In short, it can accelerate a team’s ability to master the fine art and science of closing deals.

The end result? Far more than just a dramatic increase in conversions and ROI. Sales frameworks are a key stepping stone to creating a more effective team that runs on integrity and, most importantly, customer relationships that are fostered with trust and built for the long haul.

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