Today's guest post is by John Watson.
What is the one thing that, if not accomplished, will completely derail your sales cycle?
Always agree with the customer. This, by the way, is different from the oft-repeated phrase, “The customer is always right.” The customer is not always right. In fact, customers are often wrong, but that does not change the fact that, in order to make a sale, you must start by agreeing with them, no matter what they say or how off-base they are.
If you are selling a product or service and the customer’s immediate reaction is, “That is WAY too expensive, and there is no possible way I could afford that,” then your response needs to be, “I agree that this is certainly expensive. I want you to know that my job is to find you the product that fits your needs exactly at a price that is agreeable to you. Is that fair enough? Would you allow me to show you some of the unseen benefits of what this can do for you?”
It can be a challenge when a customer says something that is, in our minds, as far from the truth as it could get. Why would the customer say something we know to be obviously untrue? Maybe he or she doesn’t yet know as much about the product as we thought. Maybe you need to ask more fact-finding questions to determine what product really is best for the client. Maybe you need to spend more time building value into your product or service.
The bottom line: agree with customers to keep moving forward in your sales cycle as you help them better understand the benefits of the product or service you’re selling. Go over the top with your agreement. If you want the customer to agree to purchase, you must be agreeable first.
A sales cycle breaks down when you and the customer cannot come to an agreement. In order to come to that final agreement, the purchase of your product or service, you must be agreeable the entire time that you’re in contact with the customer.
Practice agreement: for the next 24 hours, agree with everyone with whom you’ll speak: your wife, children, co-workers, etc. Practice agreeing with them first and then presenting your solution.