MANUFACTURERS’ ASSOCIATION OF SOUTH CENTRAL PA Prospecting for Customers & Qualifying the Customer
Prospecting – How Important is it?From Tim Conner’s book“Soft Sell: The New Art of Selling, SelfEmpowerment and Persuasion”“If you can master only one skill in selling,become a master prospector. It will guaranteeyour future success.”
Business Has ChangedCorporations are cutting budgets and layingpeople off every day, in every industry, all overthe world.While sales has never been "easy", it has nowbecome really hard. You have to talk to the rightperson, say the right thing, and ask the rightquestions - at just the right time - or youre dead.
Proper Qualifying = Improved Closing Winners in the Profession spent over 50% of their time “Prospecting. Losers spend most of their time in presentations. They are professional visitors.
Elements of Prospecting1. Identification, i.e., finding customers that have: – Need – Desire – Ability to pay for your products and services – Willingness to see you – Make or contribute to the buying decision1. Qualification – Determining which prospects are the “BEST” prospects to invest: Time Energy Resources in now – Getting information to tailor presentation to needs, desires, problems, concerns and buying style of your prospect.
Customer Profile = Prospect ProfileUse profile of your existing “average” customerto develop a prospect profile. – Take your list and develop each item into a probing question. – Answers to questions will move you closer to establishing your customer as a qualified prospect
Ideal ProspectUse profile of your existing “Best” customers todevelop an ideal prospect profile. – Create a profile template – Use the profile template as you work toward identifying and qualifying each potential prospect for as close a match as possible
Questions to Identify Prospects1. Do they have a basic need for the products or services you sell?2. Do they have the desire to buy now?3. Is the timing right in terms of their buying cycle?4. Can they pay for what you are selling, within your terms and conditions?5. What is their available cash or credit?6. Who are the decision makers?7. Will they and can they make a buying decision?8. What is the decision process?9. Do you have a favorable selling environment?10. Who are they currently buying from?11. Will they give you the time you need to qualify and sell them?12. What are their attitudes, perceptions, or prejudices about your products or services?
ASK THE PROSPECT QUESTIONSMost Salespeople talk to much….you learn fromlistening…get the prospect to talk
Questions Offer Positive BenefitsExampleYou visit your doctor complaining of stomachpains. Without asking you any questions heprescribes a medication to be taken four times aday for 30 days.Would you follow his advise?
Questions Save you time Keep you from talking too much Get the prospect involved Get and maintain prospect attention Make your prospect think Increase likelihood the prospect will listen to you when it’s your turn to talk Make you look competent and knowledgeable
Questions Help:1. ..put you in driver’s seat allowing you to direct customer in a controlled way.2. ..you determine how cooperative your prospect will be.3. ..get you valuable information about client’s needs, desires, & problems. LISTEN!4. ..you identify client’s styles, opinions, current level of understanding & awareness of their own needs and your products or services.5. ..you avoid rejection by knowing when to terminate the presentation when you believe you are not talking to a quality prospect.
Questions Build RapportCUSTOMER TALKS…..YOU LISTENOne of best compliments you can pay anotherhuman being is to be sincerely interested in whats/he has to say…..One suggestion is to begin by saying:“I don’t know how my company can best serveyour needs. The best way for me to determine thisis if I can ask you a few questions. Is this OK? Ifface-to-face ask: “Do you mind if I take notes?”
Ask Clear QuestionsFor example you are selling real estate and want to knowhow many children the prospect has and their ages and sex.So you ask:Do you have any children? YesWhat I meant was, How many children do you have? ThreeWhat I meant was how old are they? 12, 16, & 17What sex are they, girls or boys? Two oldest are girls & youngest a boy.Why not ask one question:“What are the ages and sexes of your children?”
Question Guidelines1. Start with broad topics2. Keep questions free of buzzwords, jargon, and technical terms.3. KISS…and, present one idea at a time4. Keep questions in sequence and in proper focus5. Keep them non-threatening and positive6. If asking sensitive questions explain why you are asking and give benefit to prospect for answering7. Allow the prospect to answer, don’t force an answer8. Maintain a consultative atmosphere9. Phrase the questions so they are easy to answer10. Phrase the questions from the prospect’s point of view and psychological level.
Develop an example of each:Open-ended Question:Closed-ended Question:Clarifying Question:Leading QuestionAssumptive Question:
Proven Techniques.1. What are the questions to use that stir up buying emotions?2. How do you bond with anyone - no matter how different they seem?3. What is your strategy to maximize your selling time on winnable deals?4. How have you been able to be comfortable securing commitments early?5. How do you get prospects to pursue you and reveal their budgets?
Question Development Information I Need Questions To Ask 1. 1. 2. 2. 3. 3. 4. 4. 5. 5. 6. 6. 7. 7. 8. 8. 9. 9. 10. 10.
FOLLOW-UP ON NO-SALEWhen a prospect doesn’t buy ask questions to determine what prevented their purchase. This can be done with: 1. After sales call 2. Telephone call 3. Letter
MaybeIf you could would you prefer a “yes”, a “no”, or a“maybe”?Experience says that most prospects don’t wantto reject you and their hope is you’ll simply driftaway into obscurity…..So, “maybes’ are actuallya postponed “nos”Best advise is to avoid maybes…..
Listening SkillsSuggestion that each Inside Sales Repattend a two to three hour workshop on“Effective Listening Skills”