Appropriately, our topic this month is “Coming Out of the Confusion.” With this 2 – 3-month (depending on where you are located) quarantine and lockdown, we can certainly say it has been a confusion.
When the lockdown happened, each of your deals was in one stage of your sales process or another. The first thing you should do is analyze each of these deals and verify at which stage each of them was. Once you have done that, you have done your past analysis.
Now, you need to reach out and talk to each of your customers and have real conversations to discover at which stage of the sales process each deal sits now. You should then create a new plan for each deal, which may require taking the deal back one or more sales process steps due to changes in circumstances.
Once that is accomplished, you have now created an accurate picture of each deal. This will allow you to create a precise path forward.
For example, let’s say that before the lockdown, a particular deal had made it through the Qualifying stage, and was ready for the Education stage. The Education stage has, as a result: The customer knows that your product or service will exceed their expectations, and the customer is inspired to take action to obtain the product or service.
In communicating with your prospect, though, you discover that the lockdown took the prospect back a way. The customer had almost become convinced that your product or service would exceed their expectations but had not yet become inspired to take action. In talking to them, you realize that they are now back at the beginning of the Qualifying stage. The Qualifying stage has several separate results:
a) You know all the reasons why the prospect should buy, from the prospect’s point of view.
b) Ideally, you also know, as part of that, how to save the customer money, and save them time. How to make them money, what problems you are solving for them, and how you are supporting their goals.
c) You also know how long they’ve had their problems, how long they’ve had those goals and dreams, and how much money and time have they wasted on similar products and services that didn’t get them the result.
d) You have decided if you are willing to have a lifelong relationship with that prospect.
There are two additional steps that are also important, but secondary to a – d above. Only worrying about these logistical steps is a major reason salespeople do not close:
e) What is the prospect’s buying process?
f) Does the prospect have the budget?
In discussion, you find that your prospect has lost the clarity of how long they have had their problems, goals, and dreams. You must bring them back through step c) above. You can then complete the Qualifying stage, then take them through Education and, finally, Closing.
The successful way out of this confusion, for individual sales, is to exactly analyze past, present, and future for each of your sales, and proceed accordingly.
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