Now that you’ve established trust and evaluated your prospect’s needs, the time has come to proceed with the call. Knowing how to guide your prospect, making the right points at the right time, and countering objections—this is the core of the sale.
“Presenting your points involves relevantly describing your products, defining their benefits, selecting the features that best meet the customer’s needs, and being ready to answer questions and respond to criticism,” says sales trainer Roger St-Hilaire.
Open to listening
Observe body language to make sure that the person is attentive. If he or she strays from the conversation, or if you see that he or she is longer listening, get the person to talk, or ask for an opinion. Keep in mind that communication is 7% verbal, 34% tone of voice and 59% non-verbal!
If you are talking to several people at the same time, the exercise becomes even more difficult, as you have to capture and maintain everyone’s attention.
Emphasizing your product’s selling points
Back away from slogans like “We provide good service,” or “It’s a good price-quality ratio.”
Many other features make a difference:
- Product’s indisputable qualities: e.g. ease of use, immediate availability, exclusivity, breadth of product line, approved by an organization, can be resold.
- Staff: e.g. skills, accreditation, training, expertise, bilingualism, volume, mobility, availability.
- Related services: e.g. training, advice, technical support, leasing service, delivery, after-sales service, credit facilities, packaging, guarantees.
- Location (if the sales process requires one): e.g. accessibility, parking, opening hours, show room.
You can turn each point to your advantage. For example, if you have a small sales force, focus on your proximity and knowledge of customers. Conversely, if you have hundreds of salespeople, highlight the permanent availability of this force to serve customers.
Prospects may of course have a host of objections. Prepare your answers, but tell yourself that you cannot possibly foresee everything that could arise.
Don’t try to avoid objections—instead, use them to make your point. Remember that the true sale begins once the customer says no!
You should also be aware that in most cases, the first objection given is not the real one. It’s up to you to get prospects to tell you their real reasons, which are often more emotionally charged.
The call should always wrap up with a decision being taken. According to Mr. St-Hilaire, “In only 10% of cases do customers state that they agree with the proposal.” So it’s up to you to take the initiative to close the sale by inciting the customer to act.