Wayne and Mary recently went to a Financial Planner.
They had some Superannuation, some Life Insurance and a few other bits and pieces, but basically, their finances were all over the shop..
To Wayne’s pleasant surprise, the Financial Planner asked if he could ask a few questions, some of which might be a bit personal, (but then again, if you’re talking finances, it probably needed to get personal).
Barry (the Financial Planner) took out a document that looked about 10 or more pages and began working his way through.
He’d ask a question, get an answer, share a bit about himself or other clients in similar positions, then he’d ask another question.
The interesting thing about it from Mary and Wayne’s point of view was that Barry was helping them get insights into their finances they hadn’t had for years.
Barry had at last got them working ON their finances rather than being at the EFFECT OF their finances.
Barry was leading them to the inevitable conclusion that they had to take some serious action… and NOW..
So what is the sales training lesson in this for you in your business?
1. Do you have a structured, scripted sales system that inevitably draws your prospect to the conclusion they need to do business with you.. TODAY?
If you don’t have such a system you can be sure you are faking it.. making it.. flying by the seat of your pants and in most cases probably either not closing as many sales as you should be, or you’re leaving money on the table because you haven’t asked enough of the right questions.
You need to ask questions to get people to work ON their problems rather than be at the EFFECT OF their problems..
Here is a simple affirmation to help you
“I am an expert at getting people to work ON their ______________ problems (insert the name or product of your industry eg Health, Finance, Home Furnishings, Car, Relationships, Recruiting, Marketing, IT) rather than being at the EFFECT OF their _______________________ problems(insert the name or product of your industry eg Health, Finance, Home Furnishings, Car, Relationships, Recruiting, Marketing, IT) .”
2. Are your questions designed to bring up emotions? Emotions like fear, pride, guilt, love, security, confidence, hope or anxiety are all weapons of persuasion you as a sales professional should be comfortable and confident using at the right time of the sales process.
If you’re not using those emotions in a strategic way, you are missing out on business and you seriously should be looking at yourself in the mirror.
A sales professional who doesn’t practice engaging those emotions is like an actor who has only one facial expression.. a brain surgeon who can only use a chisel… a musician who can only play one note..
3. If you don’t have a structured NEEDS DISCOVERY SYSTEM you are leaving your living to chance..
What do I mean by that?
The Needs Discovery Process needs to occur in a certain pre-determined order.
If you ask the wrong questions at the wrong time, you are setting yourself up for failure and may not even know it.
Barry the Planner asked broader, dream, retirement questions first, before he went into the ‘how much money will you need to make those dreams happen?’ questions.
Once he had the ‘how much money answers?’ he could then move into the ‘how can WE make this happen for you?’ questions.
(Notice the pre-supposition… WE make it happen for you…
‘We will get your business. You will sign with us. You will become our clients. You will pay our fee. You will make it happen. We will do the work for you. You just have to sit back and we will do it all for you.’
All these pre-suppositions are embedded into this one question.
We recommend to our clients becoming very strategic and intentional with their Needs Discovery questions.
We produce Needs Discovery Questionairre Documents and Systems for our clients.
We then work with them to drill, drill and over-drill the use of those documents and questions.
How well you operate in the Needs Discovery zone sets you up and determines how well you operate in the Closing Zone.
If you want to be a Super Closer, you’ll be a Super Needs Discoverer..
If you want some help and guidance in this area click here for a FREE coaching session on Needs Discovery Zone Structuring. Write NDZ in the Subject Line. We’ll know what you’re looking for.
PS; We are in the process of making sure we have all the entries to the ‘What is John Thinking’ Competition. We’ll announce the winner on Tuesday next week.
There are some absolute classic lines… some of which I can’t reprint here.. Thanks to everyone who has contributed so far.