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The Champion Forum Podcast

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TCFP206: The One Question Every Salesperson Must Answer

Thank you for listening to The Champion Forum Podcast with Jeff Hancher! How are you different from your competition? It should be a simple question for salespeople, but I’ve found that most salespeople cannot give a clear answer. Your sales success is primarily based on your ability to articulate and execute why you are different from and better than the competition. In this week’s episode, Jeff will show you how to stand out from the crowd by using questions to uncover and speak to your prospects’ unique buying motives.

Stand Out From The Crowd

Anyone can share knowledge about a product. Great salespeople learn how to share not only why their product is excellent but also their competitive advantage. Expert salespeople know how to catch their prospects’ attention, offer information, send a thank you note, and consider why their product and service team would be a good fit. Now, more than ever, decision-makers are inundated with sales calls, voicemails, and emails. We must constantly differentiate ourselves from all the noise.

Q: What do you do to try to stand out to your prospects? What catches your attention as a potential buyer? Has a salesperson ever surprised you with how they approached the sale? How?

Ask great questions!

Take time to think about the questions you should ask your prospect. Google might have some good suggestions, but the best questions will relate directly to your prospects’ needs, goals, and concerns. If you can ask great questions early in the discussion, the candidate will show you how to sell to them. Ditch your pitch and ensure that anything you say is connected to the reason it is relevant to the person you are talking to, their situation, or their company. Your goal is to focus on them, not your solution.

Q: What questions do you usually ask during a sales pitch? How do you ensure that you keep the focus on the potential customer?

Tell a story

It is more compelling and convincing for customers to hear about a product when it is surrounded by context. Rather than just listing your product’s many features or uses, try to craft these details into a story. Prospects are not necessarily looking for a feature. They’re after the rewards your product will bring into their lives.

Q: Why do you think stories are so important? What story do you use to help close a sale? What do you think is the most influential part of that story?

Use Relevant Testimonials

Using relevant stories and testimonials from your past experiences gives you credibility while showing a customer how your product could ease their daily tasks or problems. Narratives help customers visualize how to use your product effectively and will make your interactions seem less “pitchy” and more conversational.

Q: Have testimonials ever influenced your buying decisions? Why or why not?

Prepare for Objections

The best prospects ask tough questions. If they’re serious about the purchase and know what they want, they’ll grill you to be sure you’re the right choice. Embrace this and expect it. The best way to handle a tricky question or objection is to discover the need and present to it.

Q: What is the most common objection you get as a salesperson? How do you respond to it? Why do you think this is the most common objection?

Application Activities

  1. Answer this question: What makes you different from your competition?

Be specific and clear. Brainstorm a list of reasons and then consolidate your reasons into a few sentences. One great place to draw from is the testimonials you’ve heard from current clients. Do they love how attentive your team is? Or how you always offer creative solutions? These comments provide insight into what makes you different from your competition. If you’re unsure, ask your co-workers, boss, or current customers for feedback.

  1. The best way to handle an objection is with a great presentation! If you find yourself stumped by prospects’ objections, write them down after each sales call in a notebook or a note on your phone. Then, when you return to your office, put that objection into a spreadsheet and think about how you could have responded. What was the client really asking with their objection? What are they giving up by not purchasing your product service? Were you unclear about something in your presentation?

  2. Practice uncovering customers’ buying motives by researching yourself. What do you spend your money on? What are your buying motives? What causes you to pass on a product? What would be an irresistible feature? If you were to pitch your company’s product or service to yourself, how would you approach it? How would you personalize the pitch?

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