Tips from a Sales Trainer – Part 2 – Moving from Rapport to Business

When you've built rapport with prospects, you need to move to the sale

The power of a customer focused verbal agenda

In our first post, we looked at building rapport. You’ve now mastered that and built good rapport, and you now want to move the conversation to a business focus, which is easy to get wrong and lose the opportunity very quickly. We now move to turning it into business.

Having spent time building customer trust during the rapport phase, it can be uncomfortable for many sales people, yet natural for other sales people to start talking about their products and services too quickly; which can easily erode the trust they have just worked hard to build, as they are now basically talking about themselves and what they want to promote.

Consider this; you probably don’t even know yet whether your offering is suitable to the customer and their situation and problems. So if you start pushing early in the call you can quickly turn the customer off, particularly if you have a larger portfolio range as you will often be taking a broad brush approach or taking a chance with a particular element.

What’s your reaction when you receive a speculative sales call by phone and they start instantly trying to convince you about what they want you to buy? 

It is well proven that “people buy people first”, so let’s think about a way of introducing what we can do by keeping the focus on the customer, the challenges and needs they have and how we can potentially help them?

We basically want to make a short statement that they will relate to and positively engage with.

An example after transitioning out of the rapport phase in a conversational, manner could be something like;  

“Let’s look at what we could achieve together today.

I’d like to start by asking some questions about your IT challenges and needs, and once we know what they are, it will allow me to properly consider and propose an effective solution that resolves the challenges we identify. 

I can then give you some background information on ACE IT Solutions and why we are the UK’s premium provider and how our partner approach will support t you in the longer term.

We can then touch on the many benefits, including the financial advantages of working with ACE  IT and agree on the next steps. 

All of this should take around half an hour.   

Is that ok?

If you think about the positioning of the statement, it is highly focused on the customer and has no sales push attached. It is much softer in approach and applicable regardless of social style.

It is a clear route map/agenda for the customer to agree upon, including a timescale and final closed question to check customer acceptance. The main potential objection will be around the time factor, if it arises, handle appropriately and re-close. If you get a yes, then basically you have the customer’s agreement to question them around their needs and move through the structured agenda.

After all, there are no surprises, they know what is coming and are generally interested based on your verbalised interest in addressing their needs and challenges.

If you would like to know more about a solution selling process then Clemorton can help, we will however want to find out more about your sales challenges and it will take at least half an hour or so!

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