For most of us on the other end of a sales call, we send up an invisible wall or barrier so that the sales person cannot “get through”. We tend to clam up a little, maybe not let out our true thoughts or feelings and hold back so we dont get “sucked in” to buying something or worse still – signing a contract. I find that most sales people will go straight in and aim for the jugular!! They have not earned the right to ask detailed questions and make assumptions as to where people are in the sales / buying cycle.
It’s like walking into the dentist, being offered to sit in the chair while the dentist walks up to you and starts drilling. How would you feel?? Make prospects feel comfortable, settle them in and outline the process for them so they are not left wondering.
What I do is start out with an “Intention Statement”, a simple 30 second phrase that outlines clearly how this session is going to go. The intention statement is critical to the sales process, it outlines what is to take place in the time you have both set aside so that the prospect is clear and it helps to reduce any anxiety that the prospect may have around sales or any fear of a pressure sales environment. The intention statement is broken into four sections,
1. Ask permission to outline the session
2. Outline the session
3. Two options to reduce pressure
4. OK to proceed.
Here is the one I use – feel free to adjust the wording for your situation.
[Name], is it OK if I outline how we want to invest our time together today? Great, first I would like to ask you a bunch of questions about your business to get to know in more detail the base that you are working from, we will cover any goals you might have, the direction you are heading, the team you have here … . I will also get to some of the frustrations you may have in the business.
Once I have a much better understanding of these issues I will take you through a quick presentation of what it is we do, how we work with clients, the things we cover, the programs we offer and so on.
Now at the end of this presentation you will be left in one of two places.
Either this is a great idea and you want to get started straight away, and my advice would be that if you see something you like grab it and let’s get going… or this is not for you for what ever reason and I will let you know at this point that this program is not right for everyone so it is OK if it is not right for you.
So is it OK if we go through this morning like that.
Use an intention statement and watch the wall drop….