Your doctor would never write a prescription or perform an operation without diagnosing you first. You show up with your symptoms, your internet research and advice from all of your friends and family, but ultimately your doctor is the one who will determine what’s really wrong and will proceed with the appropriate treatment. It’s no different with sales. This may seem obvious, but all too often we show up ready to present a solution before we have done any real diagnostics. How well do we really know our clients and their unique needs before we show them a demo, or recommend they buy our entire suite of products?
Below are some tips to keep you from practicing bad medicine with your clients and prospects.
- You must establish trust first – if they don’t trust you, they won’t trust your diagnosis.
- How do we establish trust? With Authority (we’ve succeeded in this diagnosis before) and Empathy (we understand how this is making you feel/what pain this is causing you)
- Don’t try to make yourself, your company or your solution the hero – the client is the Hero and you are their Guide…how will you guide them to the solution to their problem?
You need to ask the right questions at the right time – we recommend the Solution Selling questioning model to diagnose pain and lead to a solution.
- Use open questions to get the buyer speaking freely about their problems – these are generally more comfortable, non-threatening and give the buyer control of the conversation.
- Use control questions to understand what the buyer is telling you – these help clarify the responses you received from open questions, are usually closed answers (yes or no, how much, how often) and give you back control of the conversation to where you want to steer the buyer.
- Use confirming questions to ensure that you’re both in sync – this summarizes your understanding of what the buyer has told you and demonstrates your ability to listen, show empathy and exhibit expertise. It also provides an opportunity to clear up any misunderstandings.