Remember those four words we all dread to hear at the end of a sales presentation? “I’ll Think About It. . .”
If your prospects are regularly telling you that they need to think it over, there is a problem with your sales strategy.
To be a successful salesperson, you need to know how to guide your prospect to “think about it” during the sales presentation, effectively taking the “I’ll think about it” objection off the table when you’re ready to close.
During my early years as a top seller of Kirby Vacuums – and later overseeing a successful team of salespeople as a franchise owner – I learned a great deal about the art of mastering a sales presentation.
Before a prospect will purchase a product or service, they need to think about why they need that product or service, and how they’ll fund it.
One of the biggest mistakes you can make in a sales presentation is simply telling your prospect about your product or service.
Listing off features, figures and facts about your product or service is not the same as selling it. “Telling isn’t selling” ought to be one of your core sales mantras. Without it in mind, you may become a walking, talking pamphlet – a mere information source – rather than an effective salesperson.
Back during my Kirby days, I learned that you can’t simply tell a prospect what a Kirby does. You have to take them through a process that encourages them to think about needing that Kirby.
By learning to help the prospect think about needing your product or service early on in your sales presentation, you’re less likely to hear “I need to think about it” when your presentation comes to a close.
If telling isn’t effective, then what is? Asking questions!
Learn to ask the right questions
Each question you ask should serve a purpose. Pose questions that provoke thought, pique interest and make the prospect think about why they need your service now.
In order to answer your questions, prospects have to actively listen and reflect on what you’re saying.
Asking a prospect how they feel about something you’ve said prompts them to consider how they feel now, not later. And remember, emotion can drive sales.
Are you asking closing questions?
It’s important to learn to ask “closing questions”, questions that lead your prospect to buy into your thinking or your service offering.
For example, if you offer health and wellness coaching, you might ask: “We need an effective wellness programme if we want to reach our health and fitness goals, don’t we, John?”
Here, you’ve asked a question that makes your prospect think about how they have unmet health and fitness goals, and would benefit from investing in the wellness programme you offer to better achieve those goals.
It also gives them an opportunity to voice any concern they might have, allowing you to address and alleviate that concern.
Likeable salespeople are effective salespeople
It’s important to make yourself likeable throughout your presentation. By being genuine, honest and personable, your prospect not only thinks about needing your service, but also grows to like and trust you enough to give you their business.
Watch this video and learn the art of selling from Tom Hopkins:
Create comfort with language
One way that you can create rapport is by using warm, caring language, such as saying “we” instead of “you.”
Try saying “We deserve better, more sustainable results from our wellness programmes, don’t we Alison?”
By positioning yourself as the prospect’s friend or a member of their team, you show them that they can relate to you and that you care about their interests.
Let’s wrap up with a recap: closing the sale shouldn’t begin at the end of your sales presentation.
An effective salesperson asks questions that help the prospect realise why they need their service and demonstrate that it’s a great value for the cost.
Many savvy business owners and entrepreneurs understand the sales fundamentals I’ve laid out, but struggle to identify which questions to ask their prospects to help them feel ready to make a purchase decision.
Closing the sale is an art that takes practice and confidence, but it’s also a science. Apply a proven formula to your sales presentation consistently and more and more prospects will realise there’s nothing left to think about or do, but say “Yes!”
Celeste is the owner and founder of Celeste Giordano Consulting. She has 38 years of experience working in direct sales and is a highly effective leader and communicator with talent for promoting new business. To get in touch with her, e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org