by Nick Terrenzi
An essential key to sales confidence, and a vital part of life in general, is learning to observe.
Perhaps the biggest mistake anyone can make when it comes to dealing with any issue or problem is just not looking. Much of the time, when you take the time to look at something, it can then appear far simpler and easier to handle than it would if you were not looking and just making assumptions about it. Assumptions, of course, can be wrong, and if you have an incorrect idea of something and go to deal with it, you’re not going to handle it very well.
In sales, learning to observe is essential. This applies throughout the entire sales process. It comes in right at the beginning, when you’re prospecting. You’ve got to be able to see who would and who wouldn’t be a potential prospect. Then there’s research, during which you must discover, observe as much information as possible about your prospect in order to meet with them. Then there’s Contact and Interview, during which observation is really important because it is during this stage you’re going to establish enough trust for them to tell you what they’re truly thinking.
It goes like this all the way to the close: you must always be observing. You could even take the time, during each step, to make mental or even physical notes about what you’re seeing. That way you won’t miss anything.
A major cause of a prospect losing interest is that the salesperson wasn’t looking, observing the prospect and listening to what they said. The prospect’s reach is fragile, and when you’re not taking the time to understand them, that reach will vanish.
The ability to observe is also crucial when a sales process goes wrong. You’ve got to be able to look back and observe where it went off the rails so that you’ll know not to make the same mistake again. This is one of the ways you continually become a better salesperson.
Looking and truly seeing the prospect develops your confidence about what that prospect really needs, which is vitally important in sales. More importantly, the ability to observe develops your willingness to help the prospect.
Getting the Prospect to Observe
Similarly, your prospect, if they are going to purchase your product or service, must be brought to see it for what it is. They must be able to fully observe the product or service, its benefits, and in particular what problem or problems it will solve for that prospect, from their perspective.
By asking the prospect the correct probing questions, you will find the prospect examining things they haven’t seen before. This way you build trust with your prospect as you are guiding them towards a greater degree of their own understanding.
Remember, you’re up against their sales resistance. Utilizing your sales skills, you’ll get them to look through that sales resistance to see your solution right in front of them.
Note that you won’t get them to observe just by telling them all about it. You must guide them to look, and fully understand what your offering will do for them.
As you can see, it’s a combination of your observation, and getting the prospect to observe, that will bring a sale successfully to a close.
Always be observing!
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