Having effective sales conversations depends on the overall sales process and your ability to be consistently effective. Whether it’s starting the conversation, generating interest to produce a lead, or a potential new opportunity, you need to capitalize on that opportunity and convert it into business. Conversations are the gateway to their decision-making. Even if they were only looking at you or considering other options, the following steps will help you be more effective, consistent, and enable you to have more rewarding sales conversations. Below are 5 steps to master your sales conversations.
Step 1: Rapport
Rapport establishes a connection and builds trust that we need later in the process; it’s about a state of responsiveness in the exchange of energy between you and the other person. Rapport can be an accident, and it can also be deliberate. In this step, we establish the feeling of how the conversation is going to be and set the expectations going forward. What energy do you bring to this stage in your conversation? How could you be more effective at establishing energy, alignment, and the expectations up front to pave the roadmap for the conversation ahead?
Step 2: Discovery
This step is where we learn more about the other person’s needs, wants, wounds, desires, and goals. By understanding where they are at, their “point A”, we will be able to understand how we can best serve them by recommending solutions, suggestions, or options. With these options, we can understand the roadmap of how to help them get to “point Z”.
What are their most important outcomes and what results they are looking for?
Step 3: Story Telling
Storytelling consists of two primary elements; Education and Presentation.
The education element is sharing what they need to know, or what they don’t know they don’t know and need to know, to make an informed buying decision. In a buying market with so many choices, providing the correct information to make an informed decision is key for decision-makers.
Your presentation is what, how, and most importantly, why you do what you do, and how you share your story. As Simon Sinek states, “People don’t buy what you do. They buy why you do it.” – they buy what you believe. We also call this a compelling story because you master how to share in a way that also enrolls the other person in the story, and paints the experience of what they will receive, compelling them to want to move forward, because of how clear you have demonstrated the value.
Therefore, how you package your education and presentation, what and how you do it with purpose creates the story and emotional connection people need to see themselves deciding, moving ahead, and taking the next steps.
Here we also collaborate, share, and exchange ideas to find out what options and solutions are the best fit to satisfy their needs, wants, wounds, and desires they shared with us in Discovery.
Step 4: Next Steps
The “next steps” are finalizing the options and making decisions about what happens next to keep the process moving. In this step, we are deciding if we want to move forward and if so, committing to the next steps. Your primary job as a sales leader is to provide leadership and keep the process moving to complete the result. How you do that is very important; there are different communication styles and ways to be successful. A great tool you can learn more about the different communication styles is the DISC communication model. Our Leadership Essentials course is a great resource for that!
To emphasize the importance of this step with one final point, they once interviewed professional buyers and said the most important quality of professional salespeople was their ability to expedite the sale, put differently it was their ability execute and get it done. A reliable professional is one that delivers on what they said when they said they would do it.
Step 5: Button- Down
Go back and clarify and verify what those next steps are, finalize the details, and mention them one more time to reinforce. Remember, they are not real until they are written down and scheduled! Make sure everyone knows what’s happening next and who’s responsible for what. “Button-down” simply means to clarify the “next steps” to reinforce clarity in our communication.
How can you improve your sales conversation? How can you guide your prospects during this process even better? Where do you excel? And how can you build and improve on that?
Applying these steps to our sales conversation and sales leadership will help you close more sales, make more money, be more successful, and be more fulfilled and satisfied with your sales conversation.