In my experience, I have found that in order to have a 90% closing ratio on my sales, I have to get the customers to verbalize what is important to them and why it is important.
If you don’t get your prospective customers to discover and verbalize these critical elements, your closing ration is going to stay low. So, there is a lot of money to be made by becoming skilled at this simple problem-solving strategy.
Let me say this. “Getting to the feeling” level, “asking the “why” Question” and “getting the prospective customers to verbalize what is important to them and why it is important,” are all the same thing. When someone verbalizes why something is important, it will usually have a feeling attached to it.
Here is an example of asking the “why” question.
If your prospective customer says it’s important to save money, you should attempt to get to his or her feelings on the subject by asking: “You know Harry, a lot of people say it is important to save money these days. Why is that important to you?
Asking someone why something is important to them is usually going to lead to the feeling behind what they have said is important to them. I love this approach because it makes it logical for people to give you a feeling response.
So, what are the reasons small business owners and entrepreneurs don’t get to the feeling level in a sales interview? There are several:
- Some business owners are afraid to ask the question why. This is more of a rookie fear but I have seen experienced individuals hesitate on asking the why question. The concern is that this is asking the prospective customers for more information than you are entitled to or that there are some things that are not any of your business.This is a ridiculous notion, of course, as many fears are. You need to get all the information you can possibly get about everything you think might be pertinent in order to come up with the best solution for your prospective customers.
- Some entrepreneurs don’t understand the significance of asking the why question. We are all trained to take an analytical approach to problem-solving and therefore we tend to take an analytical approach to selling as well.The problem is that people don’t make buying decisions based on logic alone.
Sure, the logic needs to be there but it is not the motivator that gets people to write the check. What motivates people to buy is a combination of logic, emotion, and intuition. If the feelings are not there, usually neither is the sale.
What usually happens with the “Logic Only” person is that as soon as the prospective customer shows interest in anything, the individual is pitching a solution or getting information in order to make a closing presentation.
You are so focused on the logic of your product or solution, that it doesn’t occur to you to ask the prospective customers the why questions. Just as often the prospective customers will not buy and say, “Let me think about it.”
This is actually a very logical response on the part of the prospective customer. If he or she is not in touch with the feeling of why something is important, they won’t be motivated to buy no matter how much logical sense it makes to buy the solution.
- Sometimes business owners don’t make a distinction between facts and feelings. This usually happens when the prospective customer is giving us a lot of information all at once. The tendency can be to try to write down all the information rather than focus on the feelings. In reality, you can always go back and get any information you need.The prospective customers will always appreciate your efforts to make sure you understand what they want and why they want it. So, don’t hesitate to go back and get clarification on important facts and feelings if your prospective customers are giving you a ton of information all at once.
- “It worked so well I stopped doing it.” This is the lament of many salespersons who have experienced the power of getting to the feeling level and then reverted back to old habits.It takes effort and discipline to get the customers to verbalize why things are important to them. It is easy to skip this step, especially if you have made some sales and the prospective customers did all the work for you.
When you make sales without getting the customers to verbalize why what they are doing is important to them, it creates the illusion that you don’t want to ask for this information. If you want a low closing ratio you don’t need to ask. If you want a 90% closing ratio, you have to ask the “why” questions.
Whenever I am coaching anyone who is having trouble getting closes, here is where I start. I tell them to pick one of the sales they are working on. Tell me what the prospective customers want and why they want it in a couple of sentences.
If you can’t answer this question with confidence, you are letting a fortune slip through your fingers.
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