A primary factor for sales confidence is knowledge—knowledge about your product or service, knowledge about your prospect, knowledge about your prospect’s company, and knowledge about your prospect’s industry or market. As they say, knowledge is power, and in the case of a salesperson, it is also confidence.
When you reach the Contact and Interview step, which is the 2nd stage of the sales process, you’re going to be asking questions about their situation, previous experience with products or services such as yours, and problems that they hope to solve with your product or service. At the same time, you should be asking some general questions about their industry, how it’s going, and their place within it.
You, of course, should see this as information about the prospect. But you should also see it as general knowledge that can serve many purposes. This same information can be added together with similar information obtained from many other different prospects and provide you an overall view of your prospective market.
Intelligent marketers conduct constant market research, to find out all they can about their market. They are doing this so that they can successfully market and advertise to their prospects. Research is often conducted in the form of surveys of prospective customers—in fact, many marketing gurus agree that this is the best form of research. Questions are formulated to find out how various situations and problems affect prospects, and how the marketer’s product or service line could best solve those issues.
This same approach can certainly be applied by a salesperson. The salesperson surveys each prospect with a clever series of questions designed to find out how they think, feel, and what their attitudes are regarding your general market. The salesperson would add in any questions that address that particular prospect’s unique concerns and issues.
Use of the Information
The knowledge a salesperson compiles from interviewing prospect after prospect and thus gaining a better overall view of their market, can be used, then, to interest prospects at the beginning of a sale. Further, the information can be utilized at each stage of the sales process to maintain prospect interest and keep them moving toward the close.
Survey questions can also be asked specifically on each sales process step. The information gathered can then be utilized at that particular sales process step on every future prospect.
Don’t forget, though, to treat every prospect individually. Prospects may have issues, attitudes, needs and wants in common. At the same time, they are always going to have particular things that are unique to them alone.
Surveying Tech Team
It can also be of great advantage to you as a salesperson to periodically survey your own tech team for their views on your company’s product or service. This can often provide you with nuggets of product information you wouldn’t find anywhere else.
The fantastic knowledge you gain from constantly surveying prospects will greatly raise your confidence in selling since you will know how to move them from one sales process stage to the next. Additionally, communicating with prospects this way will generally raise your confidence as a salesperson.
So…always be surveying!
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