Posts Tagged ‘Selling’

Qualification- Why it is the most important part in the Selling Process

July 5, 2012

Let me first introduce you to the various steps in the selling process:

1)         Meet & Greet- Here you introduce yourself and get to know the prospects name and     other initial details. (In some cases, you might be lucky to get hold of his Visiting card straightaway)

2)         Qualification- Understand the prospective customer’s needs and wants

3)         Presentation- Present the product/ service

4)         Overcome Objections- Effectively clarifies/ answers/ satisfies queries and questions of the prospect.

5)         Negotiation- Negotiate the deal (Price, terms and conditions, etc)

6)         Close- gets the contract signed and seals the deal

If you have noticed, Qualification comes immediately after the meeting and greeting stage. Have you ever wondered why?

It is one the most important steps in the selling process. It helps in saving a huge amount of time and gets you to close the deal effectively and smoothly.

If Qualification of the prospect is done in a proper way then you will not have to deal with a lot of objections regarding the product/ service at a later stage and also the price negotiation will not be a long and tedious process. Most salesmen try to cut short the qualification process and then spend huge amounts of time and energy in overcoming objections and clarifications about the product/ service, thus putting pressure on themselves and end up delaying the process or even losing the deal and also converting a perfect good prospective customer into a dis-satisfied prospect who will damage the reputation of your brand.

For example, look at this scenario;

A prospect comes into a car showroom looking to purchase a car which has good safety standards and features. He has a family with children whose safety is his concern.

The salesman at the dealership does not qualify his requirements/ needs properly and shows him a vehicle, which is known for speed e.g.; this car, goes from 0-100 Kph in just 8 seconds.

Now the customer who is looking for safety, will immediately reject this vehicle in his mind, as he is looking for safety and not speed, will raise objections at a later stage of the sales process, which will either delay the deal or even reject the proposition totally leading to a loss of sale to the dealership and the brand too.

Now consider this: If the salesman informs the prospective customer that this vehicle has Airbags, ABS Braking system, bigger headlamps which will illuminate the road ahead and on the sides for a longer area while driving and additionally it also has child locking system on the doors which will not allow the doors to open accidentally while driving. These and other safety features of the same vehicle if presented properly (after understanding the prospects requirements) will lead to lesser objections and also help in closing the deal for the salesman and end up getting a happy and a satisfied customer for life.

As you can see from this small example it is extremely important to qualify the needs and wants and the overall requirements of the prospect before suggesting a product in your portfolio. Your product/ service has many features which will benefit the prospect’s various needs and wants, but the salesman must be aware of all these and must present them selectively to the prospect, in order to convince him/her that this is the right choice of brand for his/ her requirement.

The qualification process is effectively managed with the help of these six open ended questions;

What, When, Where, How and Why

If the salesman uses these effectively to ask the relevant questions then you can be sure you will be on the road to successful selling.

So, practice these questions and use them as much as you can till you have understood the prospects requirements and then move ahead on the sales process as mentioned above.

All The Best!

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If you need your sales team to be more effective, then invite me for a consultancy and/ training program tailored to your needs and create more sales and business for your organisation.

Visit my website www.prashantwelling.com where this blog is also recorded.

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Active Listening- Why it is an Essential part

June 11, 2012

Active Listening

Often, most Coaches and Trainers spend a lot of time of the topic of Listening. Why? Have you ever wondered? What is so great about a simple task like listening? We listen all the time. It does not require much effort.

Yes! I agree with you that Listening or shall we say hearing does not take much effort as we have been doing so, for all our lives. But, there is a huge difference between Hearing and Listening.

There are several misconceptions about listening. The first of these is listening and hearing are the same thing. Hearing is the physiological process of registering sound waves as they hit the eardrum. We have no control over what we hear. The sounds we hear have no meaning until we give them their meaning in context. Listening on the other hand is an active process that constructs meaning from both verbal and nonverbal messages.

When we hear, we let the sound waves fall on our ears and we respond to it depending our mood and focus on that stimulus at the time.

But Active Listening, means we are completely focussed on what is being said to us either by a person or a medium (audio-machine of some kind e.g. ipod, radio, tape, etc)

Active Listening is very important especially for those in professions like, Sales, Legal, Doctors, CAs, etc where the success of your profession is overly dependent on what your clients are saying verbally. Most of the inter-personal problems in life also can be avoided, if effective listening is done by all parties involved (e.g. Boss- Subordinate, Husband-Wife, Siblings, Father-Son, Friends, etc.). When you do not listen with your entire focus on the person talking to you, you may miss out on certain important clues (words or statements), which might be useful to you to effectively do your job and make a success out of that particular deal.

An active listener is able to listen to the speaker, analyse, interpret and internalise the information and then suggest a proper and relevant solution/ outcome for the set objective e.g. sales of your product etc. An active listener is able to overcome objections effectively and help the speaker in making a proper and effective decision towards completing the transaction. The proper use of active listening results in getting people to open up, avoiding misunderstandings, resolving conflict, and building trust. In a medical context, benefits may include increased patient satisfaction, improved cross-cultural communication, improved outcomes, or decreased litigation, etc.

 

 

 

Barriers to active listening

All elements of communication, including listening, may be affected by barriers that can impede the flow of conversation e.g. distractions, trigger words, vocabulary, and limited attention span.

Listening barriers may be psychological (e.g. emotions) or physical (e.g. noise and visual distraction). Cultural differences including speakers’ accents, vocabulary, and misunderstandings due to cultural assumptions often obstruct the listening process.

Frequently, the listener’s personal interpretations, attitudes, biases, and prejudices lead to ineffective communication.

Overcoming listening barriers

To use this listening technique to improve interpersonal communication, one puts personal emotions aside during the conversation, asks questions and repeats back to the speaker to clarify and understand, and also tries to overcome all types of environment distractions. Judging or arguing prematurely is a result of holding onto a strict personal opinion. This hinders the ability to be able to listen closely to what is being said. Furthermore, the listener considers the speaker’s background, both cultural and personal, to benefit as much as possible from the communication process. 

Eye contact and appropriate body languages are seen as important components to active listening. Effective listening involves focusing on what the speaker is saying; at times the listener might come across certain key words which may help them understand the speaker. The stress and intonation may also keep them active and away from distractions. Taking notes on the message can aid in retention.

Please visit my website www.prashantwelling.com for such other blogs to follow. Please give your feedback which will be invaluable for me to effectively communicate with you.