Objective selling is about understanding one simple concept: all prospects have objectives.
Whether it’s to get rid of a pain, solve a problem, or meet a goal, objectives are guaranteed. Therefore, objective selling can apply across 100% of your target market.
At a high level, here is the 10-step process to objective selling.
1. Find the value
Value is part of every single sales conversation, however, it can be defined many ways. However, a value proposition can be defined by the salesperson and the prospect together. Work with an actionable definition of value. Offer prospects the help to overcome hurdles or remove barriers. Help them bridge gaps between where they are now and where they want to be. That is the objective, and they’re going to see value.
2. Determine the objectives
Instead of thinking in terms of the sales process, think about the buying process. This mentality brings in both the buyer and the seller, and it helps sellers align with the buyers. It also allows salespeople to begin to focus, get to understand the prospect’s objectives, and then use those objectives to more effectively engage with the prospect.
3. Know the end result
Imagine your sole job is to drill the perfect quarter inch hole. Most of the time, salespeople would try to sell you a drill. However, I’m going to argue that the most effective way to actually engage with that client is to sell them the hole. After all, that’s the desired outcome. That’s how they’re measured. That’s how they measure their world. The tools of getting there are really just a means of achieving the end, and if you want to successfully engage with them, focus on the end.
4. Understand why they buy
Why do people buy? There are five familiar elements.
- Risk avoidance
- Financial gain
- Boost productivity
- Shift time
- Self interest
By fitting your product or service into one of these elements, you can start to build a model that will help you focus on the objectives.
4. Focus on the impacts
Rather than starting with what you can do or what the needs are, focus on the impacts.
For example, if we can increase your production, you’ll be able to reduce the cost, increase your market share, buy your raw materials in a more cost effective way, which then drives your profits. You’re taking it to the next level by showing additional benefits.
5. Match objectives
Match specific objectives to impacts to connect the dots for the prospect. For example, a delivery truck’s objective is to deal with existing clients and provide them with their deliveries. The more service calls they get, the better they’ll do. But, at the same time, given the cost of fuel, they have to find ways to reduce costs. Objectives can have specific impacts. Delivering against the objectives enables you to hit some of their specific objectives and goals.
6. Know where to focus
Review your wins and your losses, as well as those who don’t make a decision. The more focus that you put on these three areas, the more you’ll be able to see why it is that you’re winning. The more you focus on this, the more you’ll target the right people, and by doing that, you’ll be able to get a good sense of what objectives you actually address for them.
7. Review your losses
Reviewing your losses will reveal any adjustments that need to be made in the way you’re selling.
8. Ask the right questions
By going back and reviewing your deals, you’ll be able to formulate the right questions, because with the right questions, you’re going to get the right answers.
- What are some of the biggest issues that the prospect is facing?
- How do you use risk?
- What would it take for somebody to engage you?
- What are some of the objectives that you would respond to and what are some of the things that you wouldn’t?
The goal is to be able to fill in these boxes so you can use them on demand. If you know the answers to some of the issues, then it’s a lot easier to ask questions.
9. Leave your product in the car
One of the challenges I set for salespeople is to go into their sales meetings, especially early in the cycle, and leave their product in the car. If you go in focusing and understanding objectives, then it’s a lot easier to achieve. Leave product out of the equation and you’ll have a better engagement and a shorter sales cycle.
10. Act on it
Once you’ve determined the objectives, it’s time to act. Extrapolate the value over the life of the asset. All of your good questions will result in good answers. From there, you’ll be able to go back to the prospect and present your well-suited solutions.
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